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Homily during the Mass of Confirmation at Roppongi Chapel Center
Dear friends in Jesus Christ,
Today, we are celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation in this Chapel Center.
I am sure that you have studied well about this sacrament and have prayed well to receive it. Perhaps, it would be meaningful and useful for us to summarize what this sacrament is.
First, the Sacrament of Confirmation is given only to those who are already baptized. Confirmation is the sacrament which perfects baptismal grace. It is the sacrament which gives us the seven spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, and the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear in God’s presence. You are going to receive these spiritual gifts through the anointing with chrism on the forehead, by the laying on of hands, and through the words: Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit will make you closer to Christ, strengthen your bond with the Church and will make you more ready to be part of the mission of the Church. When you receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, you will be gifted with the special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and proclaim the name of Christ boldly as apostles.
Allow me to quote some words from the homily of my Inauguration Mass as the Archbishop of Tokyo on September 3, 2000. I said,
“I will make every possible endeavor for our Church to grow as a wide-open community especially to those who are left in a weak position in society and to the poor living under pressure. I will make efforts to grow as a community that provides comfort, encouragement, power, hope and help.
Please understand this resolution that I have made when I became the Archbishop of Tokyo. Please cooperate with me and together let us do our best to fulfill it. With help of the Holy Spirit you, too, can be apostles and good cooperators of the bishop and of the church in Tokyo.
Recently I have received very good news:
I suppose that you have heard the news about the arrest of a young man who locked up an 18 year old girl. Actually, a year ago, another girl was locked up for a month in an apartment by this same violent and dangerous man. However, she succeeded to escape and went to some place in Chiba Prefecture near the sea. There, she heard the sound of singing voices hymns. She went to the place where the songs came from and found out it was from a church.
In fact it was the Catholic Church of Kisarazu, and their parish priest is Fr. David Padrnos. The parish priest and the parishioners took her and helped her.
When I knew this event, I felt very happy. Here, we can see a good example of what salvation can do through one parish of our diocese. Surely, we can still find something more in our communities which bear witness to the love of God.
So let us pray:
May the almighty and merciful God grant us the fullness of grace of the Holy Spirit so that we may grow as good evangelizers and bear witnesses to the love of God which has been revealed fully through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Roppongi Chapel Center
May 21, 2005
Peter Takeo OKADA Archbishop of Tokyo