Requests from the Parish Priest

Parish Priest: Fr. Jong Ahn Lee

Requests from the Parish Priest
The mass, which is centered on the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, is the essence of our
Catholic faith. It is the ultimate way of glorifying God, and also the best way of receiving divine grace.
The mass is the most important part of our faith, and is also the whole of it.
We have been unable to attend mass for more than three months. Although this was necessary
for preventing the spread of infection, it was in fact quite hard to bear this situation.
However, I believe that, along with the resumption of the mass, we should renew our thinking
concerning the mass. We may find that perhaps we have treated the mass too lightly. We should bring to
mind the ancient martyrs who risked their very lives to attend a single mass, and strive to better prepare
our bodies and souls in preparation for mass.
Traditionally, the Church has required believers to prepare their body and soul prior to attending
mass. For instance, it tells us not to commit a sin before going to mass, but if we do commit a sin, we
must ask God for mercy and forgiveness. We are also told to refrain from eating food less than about
one hour before going to church to receive holy communion. The purpose of these rules is not simply to
prohibit eating or to avoid being in a state of sin. Rather, by understanding the true grace of the mass,
you will come to observe these rules both naturally and as a matter of course.
Preparations for resuming masses should not be carried out only for preventing infection,
before attending mass, you should always take care of your soul so as not to commit sin, and likewise to
take care of your body so that you do not get a fever or fall ill. This is because God is the giver of life.
Accordingly, in order to attend mass, always check your body to ensure that you are in good
health.
Before attending mass, take your temperature, and also check your state of health.
If you are unable to pay attention to infection from a virus, how can you beware of the
temptations of evil spirits?
I would like you to consider that trying not to catch or spread a virus is analogous to trying not to
give in to temptation or lead someone into temptation.
The Archdiocese of Tokyo is encouraging parishioners who are more than 75 years of age to
pray at home for the time being. I, however, know that the elderly parishioners are actually more eager
than young parishioners to attend mass. Considering the scale of Ome Church, I can hardly tell the
elderly members to stay at home unconditionally.
However, I know that the Archdiocese of Tokyo reached its decision after careful consideration,
and that it by no means makes light of the elderly. Consequently, the elderly need further consideration
and deeper wisdom. I would like those of you who are more than 75 years of age to examine your body
with greater care. In other words, I would like you to show a good example because you are the ones
who truly understand the mass. Certainly, you must not overdo it, not only for your own sake but also for
others, the faith, and our Lord.
In addition to washing your hands and wearing a face mask, we may ask you to fill in and
submit a “Health Report Card” with a health-related questionnaire. I would like you to know that all of
these things are part of the mass, and will enable you to participate in the Lord’s vibrant life. Thank you
for your understanding and cooperation.

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