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Homily for Chrism Mass 2015



April 1, 2015 ; Wednesday of Holy Week


Urawa Catholic Church (Cathedral)

FIRST READING : Isaiah 61:1-3a,6a,8b-9
SECOND READING : Revelation 1:5-8
GOSPEL : Luke 4:16-21

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
During the Chrism Mass today, we, priests renew our promises made at our Ordinations. When priest were ordinated, they made the following promises.
1) By proclaiming the Gospel and by professing the Catholic faith,
we carry out the ministry of serving God’s Word in sincerity;
2) In obedience to the Lord’s order to “pray always”, we pray for God’s mercy to be bestowed on the people who are entrusted us;
3) With the help from the Church community, and in the name of the Lord, we show mercy to all the people who are poor, suffering and in need.

Dear brother priests, by making these promises, we received our priestly office; since then, we reached this day. Let us now look back at this path, examine our present condition, give thanks to God and pray for more graces, the light and power. Indeed, we received the holy orders in “clay jars”(2 Cor 4:7) of frail and fragile humanity. It is for that: “It may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.”(2 Cor 4:7) The only reason that we can fulfill the holy office of the priest, is nothing other than that we can receive the guidance of the Holy Spirits as the power of God from Jesus Christ. Truly our Lord Jesus has richly received the Lord’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit. Or rather the Holy Spirit is Jesus’ own Spirit. By following the Holy Spirit’s guidance, Jesus had proclaimed the Gospel of the kingdom of God, healed the sick, cast out demons, defeated sins through His death on the cross and His resurrection, ascended to the Father, poured the Holy Spirit on the disciples, and established the Holy Church. Even now Jesus has continued and expanded His mission through the Church. Our priestly mission is the mission from Jesus, the office entrusted by Him. Though we, bishops and priests, are frail humans, we received Christ’s mission and became, so to speak, “the persons who work for the office from God” by the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit of God’s power. Therefore the priests should deeply realize that our existence and office are all by the work of God’s Spirit, and should exert ourselves so that God’s glory appears before people through our existence and all our office.

Now I will say a few words about Ad limina of Bishops’ Conference of Japan. From March 20 to 27, we, Japanese bishops visited the Holy See and the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul, had an audience with the Pope and visited the Congregation of Evangelization of Peoples, the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Congregation for Causes of Saints, Secretariat of State and so on.
It was a great blessing for us to talk with the Pope in a very calm atmosphere about various issues of Japanese churches. At the Secretariat of State we shared the details of the message of peace that Bishops’ Conference of Japan issued on the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. I think this visiting the Holy See advanced mutual understanding between the Church in Japan and the
Vatican. Let us pray together that the work of evangelization of the Church in Japan will move forward.




[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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