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2014年12月 25日(日) 主の降誕

カトリック館林教会 (洗礼式)

第一朗読 イザヤ52・7-10
第二朗読 ヘブライ1・1-6
福音朗読 ヨハネ1・1-18












The Nativity of the Lord - Feast

Tatebayashi Catholic Church (Baptism)
Thursday, December 25, 2014

FIRST READING: Isaiah 52: 7-10
SECOND READING: Hebrew 1:1-6
GOSPEL: John 1:1-18

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (Jn 1:14)

The eternal God became man just like us; he took the frail, mortal flesh. This is our Jesus of Nazareth. We believe that this Jesus is the “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God”.

Jesus Christ poured out the Holy Spirit―his own Spirit, upon his disciples and built the Church. By the work of the Holy Spirit, our Church in Japan was also born and the Spirit continues to sustain and animate us.

Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew. He lived as a man in the Jewish tradition and culture. We were born and grew up in the Japanese culture (although many of us are not Japanese). I wonder what Jesus of Nazareth would say and do if he were to be born here today; I wonder how he would live his life.

This is indeed the task of the Church in Japan today: inculturation. Inculturation means that we express and convey Jesus in the context of contemporary culture. Of course, we are living in a multicultural and multi-ethinic environment. Therefore, it is our task to “express Jesus of Nazareth here and now” in our life.

The practice of God’s charity is the key to that attitude. I know some would say that the word “love” does not fully convey the ‘love’ expressed in the Bible. Still, we must keep trying our best to love, by praying and seeking to understand what love really is. Love cannot be expressed with just a few words.

--‘Love’ is to take good care of others.
Then, what does it mean to ‘take good care of the other’?

--“Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.” (Eph 4:29)

Jesus is the Logos, the Eternal ‘Word Incarnate’, the God who became man. By imitating Jesus, let us try not to commit any sins with our words; let us not hurt others but encourage and help them. Let us become people who can help, encourage and heal others with words. If we use good words, words make us alive; words create us anew to become workers of God’s love; words cleanse us and make us turn to God.

Blessing means speaking good words. “Blessing” in Latin is ‘benedicere’ and it means “to speak good words”. Let us try to use good words.

Today, Mr. Arai is going to be baptized and confirmed. Please pray for Mr. Arai so that he may always be blessed with many graces. May he walk the way of Christ as a man who “blesses” others. Let us pray for the help of our Blessed Mother.

[Scripture quotations are] from The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 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.