Homily at the Diocesan Joint Confirmation Mass –Pentecost Sunday
12 June 2011、(Pentecost Sunday)
at St.Mary’s Cathedral Sekiguchi Church of Tokyo
Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ,
It is Pentecost Sunday today. And today’s “hero” is the Holy Spirit.
We believe in the Trinity God, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. We can have a vivid image on the Son, Jesus Christ by reading the Gospels. And we also feel familiar with God,the Father, to whom we often offer “Our Father” and other prayers, not to speak of Mass. But what can we say about the Holy Spirit? Holy Spirit may be expressed with symbol of “fire “or “dove”, but we cannot see the face of the Holy Spirit. How can we consider about the Holy Spirit.?
The Holy Spirit is the breath of God. We are unable to see breath of human, but certainly it exists. The same can be said about the breath of God. God creates the world and human beings with his own breath and always making the world new. The world is always being renewed and finally shall be renewed as the world realized completely according to the will of God.
At the same time the Holy Spirit is the breath of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ poured the Spirit upon the Apostles and founded the Church, and sent the Apostles all over the world. They received the forgiveness of sins through the Spirit and also received the mission to give the forgiveness of sins with the work of the Holy Spirit. Now the Church is a big family of God throughout the world.
Today we are together in this Cathedral to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. Among those who are going to receive the Sacrament, there exist many differences in many points just like there are many parts in our body, for example, hand, leg, eye, ear, mouth and so on.
Our Church is composed of various people of various roles and services.
I would like to ask each of you with what you want to serve God. What a role do you have as your own role different from others?
What were you born to do in his world? What is the reason that there are so many differences among us?
I believe that it is for us to help one another and respect one another to build a beautiful family of the God.
Through the Confirmation God grant us the seven Gifts of the Spirit. They are the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of wonder and awe. They are given you so that you may fulfill your role and mission better in your life.
In these 7 graces, wisdom and courage are included.
In the new-year’s card of this year, I sent the following prayer.
God grand me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
(It is reported that this was written by Reinhold Niebuhr )
Unexpectedly we are spending this year as the year of the Great Eastern
Japan Earthquake. We need more wisdom and courage to confront this difficulty.
Therefore I give you this prayer to all of you who are going to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.