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Homily for March Memorial Mass for the Deceased Clergy of the Diocese



March 18, 2016, at Catholic Urawa Church


The First Reading: Jeremiah 20:10-13
Gospel Reading: John 10:31-42

Today’s Mass is celebrated to pray for eternal rest for the following clergy:

Matthias Toshio YAMANE, priest, deceased on March 19, 1993
Pierre FLAMAND, priest, deceased on March 11, 2005
Paul LOVENS, priest, deceased on March 22, 1984
Francisco of Assisi Shinji SAITO, deacon, deceased on March 13

Jesus said: “. . . you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” (John 10:38)

The Jews found these words totally unacceptable. They say, “It is . . . for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God.” (John 10:33) It is the sin of blasphemy for “only a human being” to make oneself God. It was exactly what Jesus was accused of and executed for.

Jesus also said in today’s Gospel: “. . . can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me.” (John 10:36-37) Jesus is the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world. The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed declares Jesus as “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God.”

Then what about us? We have also been sanctified through baptism and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Of course it never means that we are “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God.” However, our bodies are “the temple of the Holy Spirit.” Paul says: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

We are adopted children of God. We have a dignity as His children. Let this sense of our own worth be deepened by the Holy Spirit.

I wish for each of us to treasure this belief: “I am a sinner with an array of frailties, and yet I’m endowed with a dignity as a child of God. And all the other people, no matter how miserable they may look to me, are also children of God with the dignity in their true identity.”


[All the Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition (NRSVCE), copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

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