Feast of St Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs
Waitangi Day (New Zealand)
St Paul Miki, a Jesuit scholastic, died on February 5, 1597, crucified at Nagasaki with a group of twenty-six others. Most were Japanese, and most were laypeople, the first of many martyrs in a young church.
In New Zealand, Waitangi Day is a Day of Prayer, remembering the Maori people and many other peoples who found their home in New Zealand; praying that divisions be removed, that equity and justice be established, and that we may all become one in the bringing forth of the Kingdom of God here on earth. We share this prayer today.
Similar themes of faithfulness and hope echo through these two events and through our Readings today. These reinforce our responsibilities to believe in goodness and healing and seek to build the Kingdom here and now, where we are … In Genesis, we hear about how from the beginning, the Spirit of God saw that all was good. In Mark, Jesus saw people who were hurt, and he wanted to cure them. He valued them and acted to bring hope to their lives.
Our invitation is to walk softly on this earth, to listen to the whispered sighs and cries, both ancient and present and to let them find a place in our hearts. To do no harm to people or environment by our heavy footprints, harsh words, or hard-hearted or selfish actions … rather to listen, to nurture and to heal. To remember that we are caretakers/caregivers for humankind and for all of creation in the fulfilment of its goodness.
Today we reflect on how we can listen and respond to our own and others’ needs, and the needs of our world, from the depths of a truly passionate heart … and remember that God is with us…
Pam Storey is a member of the Passionist Faith Community at Holy Cross, Templestowe, and one of the founding members of Passionist Companions. After a very active and varied family, church and working life, Pam is now focusing on developing a slow spirituality.