Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and companions, martyrs
(I Kings 2:1-4.10-12; Mark 6:7-13)
An old Christian hymn reminds us that it is a gift to be simple and free. Today’s gospel points to the efficacy of such a lifestyle.
Jesus sends his apostles to preach the good news. They are not to carry anything “just in case…” Rather they are to cast themselves on God’s Providence. Nothing is said either about teaching the truths of the faith or morality. The apostles are simply to proclaim God’s love by word and deed. Regarding deeds, they will anoint the people to strengthen their faith which facilitates healing. There will be a return to physical wholeness in many cases. More importantly, the people will experience a right relationship with the Lord. That is, they will recognize how God provides for them as they look out for God’s creation.
St. Paul Miki and companions were apostles to the people of Japan. They announced God’s love by word and deed. They did not flinch with the threat of suffering for God. Rather they knew that death for God would strengthen their testimony. It would also bring them complete intimacy with him in eternal life.