ASIA/JAPAN - Cardinal Filoni visits the places of the 2011 tsunami: "God has not forgotten you"

Friday, 22 September 2017 natural catastrophe  

Wikimedia Commons

Sendai (Agenzia Fides) - "God loves you, despite your suffering, he is not indifferent, he has not forgotten you". This is how Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, addressed all the inhabitants of the Japanese regions devastated by the 2011 tsunami. He did so in his homily during the Mass he celebrated on Friday, September 22 in Sendai , the largest city in the region of Tohoku, on the sixth day of his visit in Japan. In the afternoon, before Mass, Cardinal Filoni visited the places where the effects of the disaster are still visible which on March 11, 2011 led to the loss of at least 18,000 human lives and priceless damage: "so many innumerable victims and damages were provoked, so many families were destroyed, so many goods, earned by hard work, were lost, so many civil and religious communities were profoundly modified", recalled the Cardinal in his homily, thanking "all those who still carry out their pastoral and charitable care here among people wounded by the earthquake". The Prefect also referred to the lacerating questions that arise in the face of such catastrophes: "Why is there evil in the world, how can one explain this reality that causes so much sadness?" "Not always recognized Cardinal Filoni "man has an explanation for everything, and sometimes keeping silent allows us to reflect on the fact that, in the face of good and evil, we do not have adequate answers". The Cardinal recalled the biblical figure of Job, "symbol of every man deeply touched by the suffering, who asked the same question. Before he who spoke of the vindictive justice of God or of moralistic and meaningless explanations, Job, despite his suffering, criticized that logic, fruit of a superficial explanation". When evil touches our lives - the Cardinal suggested - the only "wise thing" to do is prayer, to trust God, "like Job". And the only real answer can come from experiencing the healing brought to the world by Christ, who by coming to the world "took upon him our weakness, and through the deepest suffering and his death, he destroyed death". In this regard, Cardinal Filoni took inspiration from the passage of Luke's Gospel, read during the liturgy and the image of Jesus who "journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God and healing the people of their infirmities" (Lk 8: 1). "In his journey", said the Prefect, "Jesus met people; when he met them, he approached them; when he approached, he talked with them; when he spoke, his spiritual power healed and helped both physical illnesses and some serious spiritual ills. This is Jesus. This is what the Church must do, always, everywhere and on every occasion". On concluding his homily, Cardinal Filoni pointed out his visit to Sendai as a sign of Christian closeness and solidarity with the people affected by the 2011 catastrophe: "God loves you, despite your suffering, he is not indifferent, he has not forgotten you ... In Jesus, it is God who shares all your problems; let us think for example of what immense solidarity has been created in the world, in Japan, and in the Church toward Sendai. God has forgotten Sendai". (GV) Agenzia Fides, 22/9/2017)