The proclamation of the Gospel “is an act of great charity to brothers waiting for the light,” said Cardinal Fernando Filoni, on addressing Japanese seminarians.
The Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples addressed the seminarians of the Fukuoka Seminary, in the north of Japan’s Kyushu Island on the evening of September 18, 2017, during his pastoral visit to the country (September 17-26), reported the Vatican agency Fides.
The heart of the Christian novelty is the “extraordinary and generous gift of redemptive grace and mercy” proclaimed in the Gospel, stressed Cardinal Filoni. “All are in need of salvation, which the law of karma can’t give, but which is found only in the God that Jesus Christ revealed to us,” he continued.
The Cardinal then reflected on the questions posed in bygone days to missionaries in Japan: “Why do you bring us a foreign religion and ask us to believe in your God? “What else does Christianity have which is not already contained in the Confucian culture or within the Shintoist, Taoist and Buddhist tradition?” To answer this, the Cardinal mentioned “the famous historical novel of Endo Shusaku, entitled “The Silence,” which is now also a known film.”
Cardinal Filoni reminded the future Japanese priests that their mission consists in being “collaborators of God in the proclamation of this joyful novelty to your people.”
“It’s true that priests, Religious and you in as much as seminarians of Japan are few in number. But the strength of salt and light doesn’t come from quantity but from authenticity. The Apostles were just a dozen but thanks to the zeal and power of Christ’s Grace, they took the message of the Gospel everywhere,” he reminded the seminarians.