Come, ring out our joy to the Lord; hail the God who saves us, alleluia.
Year: C(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Green.
In other years: St Paul Miki (1564/6 - 1597)
He was born in Japan between 1564 and 1566. He joined the Society of Jesus and preached the gospel to the Japanese people with great success. When a persecution of the Catholics arose he was arrested together with twenty-five others. Mocked and tortured, they were eventually taken to Nagasaki on 5 February 1597, bound to crosses and speared.
In other years: SS. Gonsalo Garcia, Peter Baptista and Companions (- 1597)
Gonsalo Garcia was born in Bassein, near Bombay (Vasai / Mumbai) in around 1557. He was educated by the Jesuits, who took him with them on a mission to Japan when he was 15. He spent eight years in Japan, quickly learning the language and becoming a popular catechist. He left the mission and set up as a trader. As his business expanded he found himself making frequent visits to Manila in the Philippines, where he got to know the Franciscans and eventually became a Franciscan lay brother. In 1592 he sailed, together with other Franciscans including Peter Baptista, on an embassy from the Spanish Governor to the Emperor of Japan. He worked as a preacher for four years and the simplicity of the Franciscans’ mission won them many Japanese friends and converts, including the shōgun Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
At length the enmity of the local Buddhist authorities combined with suspicion of Spanish political motives and the shōgun’s attitude changed. The Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries were arrested, mutilated, and on 5 February 1597 crucified at Nagasaki. They included five European Franciscan missionaries, one Mexican Franciscan missionary, three Japanese Jesuits and seventeen Japanese laymen including three young boys.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430)
Augustine was born in Thagaste in Africa of a Berber family. He was brought up a Christian but left the Church early and spent a great deal of time seriously seeking the truth, first in the Manichaean heresy, which he abandoned on seeing how nonsensical it was, and then in Neoplatonism, until at length, through the prayers of his mother and the teaching of St Ambrose of Milan, he was converted back to Christianity and baptized in 387, shortly before his mother’s death.
Augustine had a brilliant legal and academic career, but after his conversion he returned home to Africa and led an ascetic life. He was elected Bishop of Hippo and spent 34 years looking after his flock, teaching them, strengthening them in the faith and protecting them strenuously against the errors of the time. He wrote an enormous amount and left a permanent mark on both philosophy and theology. His Confessions, as dazzling in style as they are deep in content, are a landmark of world literature. The Second Readings in the Office of Readings contain extracts from many of his sermons and commentaries and also from the Confessions.
Liturgical colour: green
The theological virtue of hope is symbolized by the colour green, just as the burning fire of love is symbolized by red. Green is the colour of growing things, and hope, like them, is always new and always fresh. Liturgically, green is the colour of Ordinary Time, the orderly sequence of weeks through the year, a season in which we are being neither single-mindedly penitent (in purple) nor overwhelmingly joyful (in white).
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||1 John 4:16 ©|
We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves. God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Galatians 6:7-8 ©|
What a man sows, he reaps. If he sows in the field of self-indulgence he will get a harvest of corruption out of it; if he sows in the field of the Spirit he will get from it a harvest of eternal life.
|Afternoon reading (None)||(Galatians 6:9-10) ©|
We must never get tired of doing good, and then we shall get our harvest at the proper time. While we have the chance, we must do good to all, and especially to our brothers in the faith.