EXPLORE THE SUNDAY GOSPEL
MEET OUR EXTENDED FAMILY
St. Paul Miki and Companions (Feast Day February 6)
1545 – 1597
When the first missionaries came to Japan in 1549, they were welcomed, and many Japanese people became Christians. When the Japanese leader Hideyoshi took command, he feared that Christians would take over the government, so in 1587 he banished them and destroyed many of their churches. On December 8, 1596, Hideyoshi arrested and condemned to death the friars of Miako. Among them were Paul Miki and his companions: missionary priests, brothers, laymen, catechists, doctors, artisans, servants, and innocent children. Paul Miki was born in Japan and educated by the Jesuits. He would have been the very first Japanese priest if he had escaped arrest, for he had already completed his studies for the priesthood. From his cross he forgave his persecutors and told the people to ask Christ to show them how to be truly happy.
Some missionary priests stayed and went into hiding, dressing like the Japanese people in order to minister to the Christians. When missionaries returned to Japan in the 1860s, at first they found no trace of Christianity. But after establishing themselves, they found that thousands of Christians lived around Nagasaki and that they had secretly preserved the faith for over 200 years. Beatified in 1627, the martyrs of Japan were finally canonized in 1862.
TAKE TIME TO CHAT
· Share a time when you asked Jesus to help when you or someone you know was sick.
· Today’s Gospel tells us that “the whole town” was gathered at the door of Simon and Andrew’s house. How many people do you think Jesus healed that night?
· Why do you think it was important for Jesus to go and preach in the other villages?
· Consider the courage of St. Paul Miki and Companions. What made them so brave?
To celebrate the heritage of St. Paul Miki, do some simple origami today. You can find printable guides online to make animals, envelopes, paper airplanes, fans, and more.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Enjoy this delicious Japanese dish in honor of St. Paul Miki.
3 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
3 cups cooked sushi rice
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Kewpie mayonnaise
6 ounces imitation crab, shredded and roughly chopped
1/4 cup green onion, sliced
1/4 cup furikake (Japanese seasoning)
Optional: nori sheets, wasabi, soy sauce
Cook sushi rice according to package instructions. Preheat oven to 450 F. In a large bowl, mix rice with seasoned rice vinegar until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, crab and green onion and fold until combined. Spread the rice into a 9x13 baking dish and smooth out along the bottom. Sprinkle the half of the furikake over the rice. Layer the crab mixture over the top, and top with the rest of the furikake. Bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned on top. Serve with nori sheets, wasabi and soy sauce to taste.
Prayer for Family Members
Jesus still heals and takes care of people’s needs today. Take time to pray for the needs of those in your family. Each family member can name one or more persons they want to pray for. Write all the names down and pray the prayer below, inserting the names as indicated.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Lord Jesus, protect [list of names] physically, spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically this day. Help them to know that they can turn to you for strength and guidance. Keep evil far from them and help them to trust you as their refuge and strength. Make them strong and courageous in the presence of danger, recognizing that with you they can face any challenge. Take care of them in all the circumstances of their lives. Amen.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus came into the house or “under the roof” of Simon Peter’s House. Fill in the blank with these words: roof, soul, Word, worthy. Lord, I am not _________ that you should enter under my _______, but only say the ______ and my _____ shall be healed. When do we say this response at Mass?
Continue to do the Prayer for Family Members throughout the rest of the week.
Today, in the city of Capernaum, you can see the excavation site of Simon Peter’s house, the actual site where today’s Gospel story happened. A large modern church has been built over the site, but visitors can see the first century home through a large glass window in the middle of the church.