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February Memorial Mass for the deceased clergy of the diocese



February 20, 2015; Friday after Ash Wednesday


the late Bishop Satoshi NAGAE, the late Fr.Charles Andre´

We celebrate this Memorial Mass today for Bishop Lawrence Satoshi NAGAE, and Fr.Charles Andre´ FLOIRAC. After participating in the Second Vatican Council, Bishop NAGAE devoted himself to the reform of the liturgy in Japanese Churches,
faithfully following the Council’s teaching.

Fr.Charles Andre´ was a Franciscan priest. He served Urawa Cathedral as a priest for a long time. He was a very cheerful person with a strong faith.

Remembering them today, let us thank them for their service and pray for their eternal peace.

I would like to say a few words about today’s reading and the Gospel.
When Jesus was asked; “Why do your disciples not fast?”, he replied; “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” His
reply was like a riddle. By the phrase ”when the bridegroom is taken away”, Jesus meant his own Passion. More importantly, He
replied that it was not the time to fast.
These words of Jesus remind me of His words in the Gospel which was read on Ash Wednesday. Jesus harshly criticized the fast of the scribes and Pharisees. When they fast, they deliberately make
dismal faces and frowned. Their fasting was just a performance for
the publicity as well as hypocrisy. Come to think of what the real fast is, the answer is in Chapter 58 of Isiah’s Prophecies.
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and
to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?”(Isiah 58:6-7)
The act of the fast mentioned here corresponds the deed of love
which is inquired at the Last Judgement in Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew. That is, the deed of love Jesus told us as follows: “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”
Now, what is the real fasting we do in the present situation?
Fundamentally, it is as same as the deed in Chapter 25 of Matthew.
However, I feel it is most important to stay close and help, especially, the sick, the handicapped and the lonely. In today’s wilderness, many people get lost and suffer from mental problems.
I sincerely wish that these people are healed.


[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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