September 13, 2015

Dear Sisters,

           “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother and sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm and eat well, “ but do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead…”   (Jas.2:14-18)


            The second reading this Sunday challenges us very clearly as we bear in mind the situation of our brothers and sisters in Joso. It is indeed a call to solidarity, to put into concrete the “Proyecto Comun” we have just renewed last month which is “to manifest the face of the merciful and compassionate God”.

I thank God that the church of Joso have been spared from the great calamity. The flood stopped just a kilometer away from where we are! In this letter, I would like to share with you that our three sisters in Joso together with the leaders of the community are now very much involved in gathering data specially of migrants directly affected by the flood – Filipinos, Brazilians, Peruvians, etc, coordinating with Saitama Diocese, the local government and different Embassy personnel, collecting goods for distribution, assisting in translation work. In our respective “presencias” too, what can we do to express our solidarity in concrete?

May the Holy Spirit inspire us in creative ways. Perhaps, we could devote a few minutes in our sobremesa these days to discuss about this. As Consola commented, we have to think of the long-term assistance of the victims, not just of their immediate needs. The assistance of the government to all victims is indeed laudable. Speaking of migrants, however, they do not get easily get covered by television or newspapers. Far from “home”, where do they spontaneously ran to? The church, their “home” away from home. In the case of Joso and nearby areas, as of now, we have concrete faces of migrants who too experienced the horror of loosing their homes, cars, work and of being rescued by helicopters. As Carmen Segovia said, “they too have many stories to tell!”

The past days I have been receiving a lot of inquiries -telephone calls, e-mails, facebook messages from our sisters in the Philippines, Spain, Rome and from many friends and acquaintances in Japan as well. I thank them deep in my heart for their fraternal concern and prayers, and for yours too. Please pass this letter to them too, as you deem best.


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