Niigata (AsiaNews) - The Church in Japan "must have the courage to go out, leave their safe areas and gaze into the paschal mystery. So, like the disciples, we will be transformed from timid into dynamic messengers of the Gospel. " Writes the bishop of Niigata, Msgr. Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, in a reflection on Easter sent to AsiaNews.
On 22 February in the diocesan cathedral Msgr. Kikuchi celebrated the rite of admission to the catechumenate for five new members: "Despite the small number - reflects the prelate - it is still comforting to our new Catholics to feel the physical presence of the community gathered in the church to welcome them . The cathedral is part of the diocese, which in turn is part of the universal Church, the Body of Christ”. Below, the text of the message.
Our Lord Jesus, through his glorious resurrection, showed his disciples power of God which destroys the strongest enemy of human-beings, thus taught them that there are nothing to afraid of in this world. Through this experience of victory of life over death, timid disciples were changed to be bold and dynamic messenger of Gospel message.
Pope Francis calls us to be a "Church which goes forth" and "all of us are asked to obey his call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the“peripheries” in need of the light of the Gospel (EG20)".
In view of recent social situation in Japan which tend to be quite conservative and introversive, tend to judge others than reconcile, and tend to choose social values leading away from gospel value, Catholics in Japan have to remember what happened to the disciples who experienced the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. We also have to be changed to be bold and dynamic messenger of Gospel message and value in this society without fear. We have to be courageous enough to be the "Church which goes forth" and have courage in faith to leave our "comfort zone".
Unfortunately in Japan, Easter is not much known compare with Christmas. As for Christmas, it would be easy for us to deliver message to public. But at lease I want to transmit to the society that true victory for human-beings does not come from monetary gains or national pride but it comes only from God who is the creator of all.