He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics.
He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent.They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Today’s feast honors the martyrdom of 26 martyrs in Japan, including Jesuit St. Paul Miki. They were crucified for the faith in Nagasaki on February 5, 1597. Paul Miki, a Jesuit scholastic only 35 years old, was joined in death by a Jesuit brother and another scholastic, six Franciscans, and many lay persons, including children.
In truth these martyrs were “sent forth” just as each of us are, invited to use their time and talents in Jesus’ name for ordinary daily service and witness. Caught in the political turmoil of the times, they ended up giving their lives in witness to the gospel. Our own lives may not be as dramatic, nor will we be invited to martyrdom. Yet we are invited in small ways (and sometimes in larger matters) to speak up, to make a difference, to mend a quarrel, to sit and listen even when inconvenient, to offer a hand in a time of need. Along this journey, it is God’s grace and strength that power us and give us hope.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Life-giving God, source of strength for all your saints, you led Paul Miki and his companions through the sufferings of the cross to the joy of eternal life with you. May the witness of their lives enliven our own journey of faith. May we follow your lead wherever you ask and invite. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!