Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and his Companions, MM. (6th February, 2016) on the Gospel and the Memorial


1Kgs 3:4-13;
Ps 118:9-14 (R. v.12);
Mk 6:30-34.

Saints of today: Paul Miki was born about 1565 in Japan. He entered the Society of Jesus and was a successful preacher of the Gospel. With twenty-five companions, he was tortured and crucified at Nagasaki on 5th February 1597[1].

Topic: Shepherding the flock.
Summary of today’s gospel: The apostles returned from mission and gave account of what they did and what they taught to Jesus. He later took them to a supposed lonely place for a rest but on their arrival, they saw a great crowd waiting for them. Jesus had pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd and began to teach them many things.

Reflection: A manager of someone’s business ought to render account to the owner of the business as required, cf. Lk 16:2. In today’s gospel the apostles on their return gave account of their mission to Jesus who sent them.

The gospel likened the crowd waiting for Jesus to a sheep without a shepherd. But could it be that people were not assigned to care for them? Surely a lot but they were feeding themselves instead of the sheep, cf. Ezek 34:2.

Across the sea where they sailed to rest Jesus taught the crowd many things. The good shepherd (Jn 10:11, 14) did not leave the sheep for any other thing.

Dear shepherds of God’s flock, we must ask ourselves few questions: How often do we report back to the owner of the flock what is going on? Again, how can our flock be described – sheep with or without a shepherd? And again, have we left the sheep for some other things – pleasure, money, connections, and so on? Saint Paul Miki and twenty-five others were crucified because their sheep felt their impact. They preached with much success.

Finally, the work of shepherding goes beyond clerical works. You are also a shepherd where you are – family, community, school, church, and so on. Be a true shepherd to your sheep.

Bible Reading: Lk 16:1-13; Ezek 34:1-31.

Thought for today: You are called to shepherd the sheep.

Let us pray: Lord and Master of the vineyard help us to shepherd your flock according to your will – Amen.

Saint Paul Miki and His Companions – Pray for us.

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[1] The weekday missal: A new edition (1995). London: HarperCollins Religious, p.1413.

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