Memorial of St Paul Miki and Companions
By REV. FR. SAMUEL FREDERICK
1 Kgs 8:22-23.27-30, Mk 7:1-13. The core Biblical truth is that whatever God has made is very good. This is a good lens through which we can examine today’s first reading, about Solomon, who was humbled and awestruck that God would allow His Divine presence be experienced in the beautiful Temple that he had built for God. It was a blessing for the king and all the people of Israel that God would reveal the Divine relationship that God had with the people by residing within the walls of the structure which Solomon had constructed.
Just being near the Temple, out in the elements, was better than being sheltered in a tent with those who did not do God’s will or were not aware of God’s presence. In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks about the presence of God being experienced in His challenging words to the Pharisees. The leaders of the Jewish faith complained that Jesus’ followers do not follow all the prescriptions of the law. Jesus referred them to the purpose of laws, rules and regulations as they draw people into the presence of God. St Paul Miki and other Japanese martyrs, experienced the presence of God at a time of particularly harsh persecution and repression of Christians throughout the whole region of Japan. At that time, Japan was a fertile ground for the Christian faith for a few decades and the Church grew rapidly with the efforts of the missionaries and the support from the local rulers accelerating the process of conversions and the growth of the Church. Paul Miki and his companions, were arrested by the Japanese authorities and were tortured because of their Christian faith.
May the Lord grant us His steadfast love, so that we may continue to appreciate the presence of God! Amen!! Have a glorious day!!!