Sunday, December 15, 2019

6th February 2019: Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs Year C

Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 325

1st Reading – HEB 12:4-7, 11-15

Brothers and sisters:
In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.
You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children:

My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
or lose heart when reproved by him;
for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
he scourges every son he acknowledges.

Endure your trials as “discipline”;
God treats you as his sons.
For what Ason” is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it.

So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.
Make straight paths for your feet,
that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed.

Strive for peace with everyone,
and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God,
that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble,
through which many may become defiled.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18A

R. (see 17) The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him,
For he knows how we are formed;
he remembers that we are dust.
R. The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity
to eternity toward those who fear him,
And his justice toward children’s children
among those who keep his covenant.
R. The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

Alleluia – JN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 6:1-6

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished.
They said, “Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon?
And are not his sisters here with us?”
And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them,
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house.”
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Catholic Daily Reflections

Catholic Audio Gospel Reflections

The Calling of a Hidden Life

Saints Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs

“Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!” Mark 6:2

The people who knew Jesus from His youth were suddenly astonished at His wisdom and mighty deeds. They were amazed at all He said and did. They were familiar with Him as He grew up, knew His parents and other relatives, and as a result had a hard time understanding how this neighbor of theirs was suddenly so impressive in His words and deeds.

One thing this reveals is that while Jesus grew up, He apparently lived a very hidden life. It’s clear that the people of His own town were unaware of the fact that He was someone special. This is clear because once Jesus began His public ministry of preaching and performing mighty deeds, the people of His own town were confused and even astonished. They never expected all of “this” from Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore, it’s clear that during His first thirty years, He lived a normal and ordinary daily life.

What can we take from this insight? First, it reveals that, at times, God’s will for us is to live a very “normal” and ordinary life. It’s easy to think that we should be doing “great” things for God. Yes, that’s true. But the great things He calls us to are at times simply living normal daily life well. There is no doubt that during Jesus’ hidden life He lived a life of perfect virtue. But many in His own town did not recognize this virtue. It was not yet the will of the Father that His virtue be made manifest for all to see.

Secondly, we see that there was indeed a time when His mission changed. The will of the Father, at one moment in His life, was that He suddenly be cast into the public eye. And when this happened, people noticed.

These same realities are true for you. Most are called to live day in and day out in a somewhat hidden way. Know that these are the moments when you are called to grow in virtue, do small hidden things well, and enjoy the quiet rhythm of ordinary living. But you should also be aware of the possibility that God may, from time to time, call you to step out of your comfort zone and act in a more public way. The key is to be ready and attentive to His will and plan for you. Be ready and willing to let Him use you in a new way if it be His divine will.

Reflect, today, upon the will of God for your life right now. What is it He wants of you? Is He calling you out of your comfort zone to live a more public life? Or is He calling you, at this time, to live a more hidden life while you grow in virtue? Be grateful for whatever His will is for you and embrace it with your whole heart.

Lord, I thank You for Your perfect plan for my life. I thank You for the many ways that call me to serve You. Help me to always be open to Your will and to daily say “Yes” to You no matter what You ask. Jesus, I trust in You.

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