Thursday, September 3, 2015

September 2015

For Our Reflection

The Parable of Ten Bridesmaid [Mt. 25:1-13]

It is very difficult for us to understand this parable. Why are ten virgins waiting outside for the bridegroom? Why do they need lamps? Even scholars are not sure. What is definite is that these virgins are not the brides. Our best guess is that they are more like bridesmaid; they are waiting to process the bridegroom into his feast.

Let us forget about the foolish virgins and consider two details about the wise virgins. First, they have flasks of oil with them. What do these flasks signify? We do not know. They are something extra, something beyond, but what they are is uncertain. After all the virgins fell asleep, they need what is in the flask. Perhaps it is prayer or study. The wise virgins had a stronger foundation of prayer and studying the Scriptures and the Catechism, so they were able to be ready when the time came.

The oil in the flask could also be a symbol of the Holy Spirit; oil often is used to symbolize the Holy Spirit. Then we would say that the light of faith burned out in those who were relying only on themselves for faith. The Holy Spirit is the only fuel for our faith that is sure to be there when we need it.

The second detail could be called holy selfishness. The wise virgins do not let the foolish virgins share what is in the flasks. There are many people in this world who would like to keep you from doing what you need to do to be ready for Christ, people who will complain that you are praying or studying or going to Mass when they need you for their own purposes. Do not let them prevent you from being prepared. Be selfish!

We do have human relationships which demand our time and effort. Failing to live up to them is not a holy thing. A mother who did not care for her children but spent all her time in prayer as if she were a nun would not be practicing true devotion. Nevertheless, our relationship with God comes first. We must not allow the world or anyone in the world to demand that we stop praying and studying, to demand that we give up whatever is in the flask that allows us to keep the fire burning. We must be selfish because we will not be able to do any good if we do not first seek God.


Hirosaki Mass

We celebrated our monthly mass in Hirosaki Church last August 12. We also planned to have the farewell party of Fr. Tou Paul who will be returning to Kenya at the end of the month. During our gathering Ate Pat came all the way from Saitama to be with us for our celebration. 


First Communion of Shiori Tanabe 

Last August 15 during the Feast of the Ascension, we celebrated together with the family of Tanabe Shiori san her first communion. After some months of preparation, she was able to have her first communion. She thanked Sister Kitagawa who helped her prepare for this great blessing. 


Sayonara Party 

I was invited to the sayonara part of the Tokyo dress last August 15. The Tokyo dress is a company here in Hachinohe. The workers were mostly from Cebu and they had been very active in the church acting as choir to our English mass and during the international mass here during the fourth sunday of the month. By October 6 Tokyo dress workers and of course our choir members in the church will be returning to the Philippines. I am very happy to be invited during the sayonara party. To all of you, we would like to thank you for your unfailing support for the activities in our church. We will always pray for all of you.

Blessing of the Chapel in Ofunato


Mass in Ichinoseki

Fr. Edgar celebrated the mass in Ichinoseki this month. There seems to be a growing number of mass attendees in Ichinoseki. We hope we will continue to celebrate and gather together every 3rd Saturday of the month in Ichinoseki Church.


Baptism in Hachinohe Church

We had a baptism of Rika Takemoto chan last August 23 here in Hachinohe church. Rika's parents are from Ninohe but they ask me if they could do the baptism here. After consulting with Fr. Sato, I ask them to prepare Rika for baptism. Rick's grandparents were also here and joined her during her baptism.


Bishop Otsuka shares about Takayama Ukon in Kuji Church

Last August 24, Bishop Otsuka of Kyoto came to Kuji Church to celebrate mass and to give a sharing about Takayama Ukon. This is the second time or the third time that the bishop made the visit to the church after the March 11, 2011 disaster. This time through his request he celebrated the mass and met the christians of the church. There several Filipinos who attended the mass and the talk which the bishop really appreciates because Takayama Ukon who will be beatified next year here in Osaka had a connection with the Philippines. And the presence of the Filipinos during the mass and the talk was really a meaningful moment for the bishop and the Kuji community.  

with the Filipinos in Kuji


The Event - After the Rosary

This the common event here in Ofunato after the block rosary. We had been doing our rosary for four years and we are always blessed with the number of children who are present during our Rosary. And of course the walang sawang kainan. Di yan mawawala. More power to everybody and more blessings.


Meanwhile in Kessenuma

The Filipino group had conducted a cooking class on Philippine food. They shared their knowledge about how to cook our Lumpia prito, lumpia saging and sago at gulaman.


How to be Happier

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