May 5-6, 2001
Greeting at the opening of the Mass
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
It is my great joy to be with you, people of Catholic Church community of Yokota Air Base, and celebrate the Eucharistic Liturgy. I express my sincere gratitude to the Pastor James Ludwikoski and his community who kindly invited me to visit your community.
I wish to pray during this Mass that a good thing, which we have just started, may bring us lots of good fruits.
Homily delivered at the Chapel in Yokota Air base on May 5, 2001
Today we celebrate the Sunday of the good shepherd. Jesus is our good shepherd. We are his sheep. The gospel of John says, “the sheep that belong to me listen to my voice.”
So we must listen to the voice of Jesus.
Jesus, what do you want me to do? We must have this question always.
It is a good prayer to listen to Jesus. Prayer does not mean only to ask something good to God. It is to listen to God in silence.
Dear children, who are going to receive the First Communion, I send you the blessing of Almighty God and also my sincere congratulations.
You believe that Jesus Christ really exists in the Eucharist. When you receive the Body of Christ, you are one with Jesus. You are to do what Jesus wants you to do. Are you ready?
You know the prayer “Our Father”.
You say “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
The will of the Father must be done through you who are going to have the First Communion.
I do not know you personally and cannot know where and how you shall live your lives. But I am sure that you shall remember your First Communion here at Yokota Base with a Japanese bishop.
So I have something important to tell you tonight, the night of your First Communion..
Now you are living in Japan and belong to the Catholic Church in Japan. The Church is a big family. There are many people from various countries and nations. They speak various languages.
There are differences among us, but we believe in the same God. We are brothers and sisters who believe in Jesus Christ.
So I ask you that, where you may live, you make good friends with people of different colors, different languages and work together to make this world better, more peaceful.
May almighty God protect you and guide you during your long life and may you walk with Jesus from now on and always.
Homily delivered at the Chapel in Yokota Air Base on May 6, 2001.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
First of all I express my sincere thanks to God our Lord and to you, especially Fr.James Ludwikoski and his good cooperator Brother Luke Villeneuve for this occasion of an encounter between us.
I feel happy and honored to visit you and to meet you for the first time as Archbishop of Tokyo.
Since September 3rd of last year, the day of my transfer from Bishop of Urawa to the See of Tokyo, I have performed many tasks I received from my predecessor Cardinal Shirayanagi. Although there are lots of difficulties to fulfill my duty as pastor of the Archdiocese of Tokyo, putting my trust and hope in the Almighty God, Our Lord. I will do my best to work for the Reign of God here in Tokyo.
Today we celebrate the Sunday of the good shepherd. The Gospel of John reminds me of my own duty as pastor.
You may know that the Catholic Church in this country is a minority group.
In this metropolitan area, more than forty million people are living, but most of them are not Christian.
It is our mission to bring the Good News to everybody and lead them to salvation.
Jesus says “there are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and these I have to led as well.”
There are so many people seeking salvation, peace and meaning to life. Loneliness, sickness, thirsty and hunger for the truth exist among them. There are many people who are mentally sick or handicapped. They are really poor people who are waiting for salvation. Among them not a few are from foreign countries. It is to these people that Jesus has sent us to proclaim Good News.
In the second reading of today, we read the following sentences.
“I, John, saw a huge number impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language.”
This is the image of the Church until the end of the world. And this Church already exists in this area of Tokyo, although it is very small and imperfect.
So, today I renew my resolution, which I expressed on the day of the Installation as archbishop of Tokyo.
“By the grace of God, I will use all my energy so that we can grow as a community who can give repose, consolation, encouragement, strength and salvation to people who are hurt, weakened, those who are left in a weak position and the poor who are oppressed by a highly competitive society.”
I pray God that He may give me strength to fulfill this resolution. Amen.