Universalis
Sunday 7 February 2016    (other days)
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time 

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.
  See also the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Philip of Jesus, a Mexican Jesuit who was one of those martyred together with St Paul Miki, and an article in Wikipedia which contains some useful links.

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 cathechist. 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.
Other saints: Saint Mel
Ireland
Saint Mel or Moel died in 488. He is said to have been a Briton who came to Ireland with Saint Patrick, his uncle, with whom he worked until he was ordained in Ardagh. He is one of the earliest Irish saints and gave the religious veil to Saint Brigid. See the article in Wikipedia.

Liturgical colour: green
Green is the colour of living and growing things, which directly or indirectly are the source of our own physical life, since without them we would not be able to live. Liturgically, it is the colour of Ordinary Time, when we celebrate the wonder and joy of the life we have been given without specially being penitent (in violet) or exultant (in white).
Other notes: Quinquagesima Sunday
Today is the last Sunday before Lent. Ash Wednesday is only three days away. It is a good time to make sure that you are ready for Lent. At some times, and in some parts of the world, Quinquagesima had a semi-lenten character, because Lent started gradually rather than, as now, all at once on the Wednesday. The liturgy also reflected the coming start of Lent, and the liturgical colour was already violet.
  The modern calendar has curbed this tendency of Lent to spread backwards, and there is no sign at all that this is the last Sunday of Ordinary Time for quite a few months. Nevertheless, it is still worth reflecting that Lent is coming very soon and we should make our plans for it.
  Incidentally, Quinquagesima means ‘fiftieth’, and indeed if you count Easter as 1, and count backwards, you will reach exactly 50 when you get to today.

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.

Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
 
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