France: Become the Beacon of the World
Let us make the filial affection toward Heavenly Parent and True Parents Become the Beacon of the World
하늘대한 효정 세상의 빛으로
by Special Emissary No Hi PAK
Sermon for Joint Sunday Service of Paris Region
Chamarande, France, 2. October 2016
Beloved blessed families and members of Paris region, especially many 2nd generations! Good morning! It has been quite a while since I met you all. I am so delighted to see you again this Sunday morning.
Last August 15, I returned to Korea for participating in the 4th Anniversary Seongwha Ceremony of our beloved True Father. And after attending the events and the Cheon Il Guk Leaders Conference, I spent some enjoyable time with my family, especially my grandchildren, whom I had not seen for a while.
My original plan was to take part in the European International Leaders Conference, as well as the Inauguration of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace, held in London, UK from September 7 to 9, and to come to Paris afterwards. But due to personal reasons I returned a few days later than planned.
I am well aware that, during this time, you have performed the Ceremony of Holy Wine and received the Four Great Holy Items bequeathed by True Parents, on the foundation of your forty-day devotion. Thus, you have begun the second half of the year of 2016 with new resolution and heart of devotion.
I believe that many of you have watched the 4th Anniversary of True Father’s Seonghwa celebrations, held on August 19(by heavenly calendar July 17) at Cheongpyung, via internet broadcast or the European News video clips.
I also took part in the celebrations held in the Cheongshim Peace World Center under attending True Parents, together with leaders from all parts of the world and more than 20,000 members from Korea and Japan, including the 1,200 second generations from all over the world who participated in the Top Gun Workshop. And the ceremony was so amazing and magnificent. I could not help but be moved to tears.
‘Seonghwa Festival’ commemorating the 4th Anniversary of True Father’s Seonghwa This time the 4th anniversary celebrations of Seonghwa was held under a completely different concept. When the International Headquarters staff first began preparing for Seonghwa Memorial Day, True Mother said to them, “The Seonghwa Memorial Day celebrations held this year should go beyond memorializing True Father’s Seonghwa itself. It should be a joyful and glorious festival that celebrates the ‘Manifestation of True Parents on Earth’ and their victorious lives.”
She also added, “The leaders and members who take part in this year’s celebrations should return with great experiences of the ‘Revolution of the Culture of Heart’ advocated by True Mother.”
As you all knew, True Mother offered devotions by attending True Father through the ‘three-year special mourning period’ with all of her heart and soul.
On this foundation, the Unification Church family should no longer think of True Father’s Seonghwa with sorrow and regret internally. True Parents came to earth with the long-awaited ‘Mission of the Messiah’ through the 6,000-year history, and have settled down on earth as the ‘True Parents of Humankind’.
Therefore, True Mother has declared that it is now our mission and our given task to boast of his Providential victories and lifetime achievements of True Father in front of all human beings and history.
That is why this year’s Seonghwa Festival was entitled “Filial Affection Toward Heaven and True Father becomes the Beacon of the World”. I was deeply moved when I saw this title and slogan.
This term, ‘filial affection’ was newly coined by True Mother. When you think about the meaning of its Chinese characters, you can see what deep meaning the term has. It brings together the words ‘filial piety(효도)’ and ‘heartfelt affection(심정)’. And this term clearly expresses our heart toward our True Father.
What is the meaning of the theme of this years’ Seungwha Festival?
This means that, instead of observing this heart of filial affection internally, we should let it shine forth like the beacon of the world. In short, we should all become beacons. We should all light the future. We should become torches that march forward, lighting the way in the midst of chaos and darkness. I think these words of True Mother created are truly revolutionary.
The significance of True Parents’ lives goes beyond their time on earth. Though True Parents’ mission of salvation of the world was begun when they first came on this earth. But that does not mean that their mission and vision have been suspended just because True Father has passed away to spiritual world. The Providence of salvation of the
humanity and the world, begun by True Parents, will continue to progress eternally, and the Providence that was begun from the one spot will advance, develop and spread out across the world and to the cosmos.
Though Jesus’ death on the cross was such a great sorrow, so that Bible said it covered heaven and earth in darkness. Heavenly Parent did not end this incident as only sorrow; instead, He bestowed the grace of resurrection, thus transforming it into a miracle of joy and jubilation.
Therefore, rather than feeling sorrow for the death of Jesus in his failure, Christianity believed in him as the Messiah who succeeded by being resurrected, and his teaching grew to become a global religion.
It was really clear-sighted direction of True Mother to designate this year’s Seonghwa celebrations as ‘Seonghwa Festival’. Through this, the way has been opened for our Unification Movement to also become a religion of the joy and victory of True Parents’ Manifestation, and to propagate the Divine Principle and his words, Heavenly Truth to save all human beings.
True Mother said that we should not think, “I am glad True Father was born on this earth, and I am sad that he has passed away”, because this is a very short-term concept. Instead, we should think, “True Parents have been manifested on this earth”, as a long-term concept, for then that fact becomes in itself an eternal joy and victory.
After all, no living beings can live forever on earth. True Parents has been manifested on earth and lived victorious lives, and they built the foundation for the salvation of all peoples and the world of peace. This historic significance of their lives will live on earth and in history forever.
Now, we, the blessed children of True Parents, and our second and third generations coming after us, should make the victorious lives of True Parents a historic fact that shines eternally in joy and glory. Then we can everlastingly serve our True Parents, who will live forever with us.
The International Headquarters followed these clear-sighted instructions of True Mother and succeeded in making this year’s celebrations into the ‘Seonghwa Festival’ beautifully. All members who attended the celebrations came to remember True Father’s great life with joy, and they shed tears of joy and resolution in their conviction that his life will shine forevermore as an immortal star in history.
I heard that True Mother gave very detailed advice even on decorating the stage for this year’s celebrations. This year’s stage also differed from the previous years’. The curtains for the round stage, which brought the Opera House to mind, were purple and draped in three layers symbolizing three ages, Old Testament, New Testament and Completed Testament Ages.
When the curtains went up, a wall blocked the way to the stage. This wall signified the ‘wall of the fall’ that divides Heaven from human beings on earth due to the fall of humankind, the ‘wall of national boundaries’ that separates nations, and the ‘wall of conflict’ that severs communication between people.
When the agonizing history of the Providence of restoration through indemnity came to an end outside the wall in the musical, the age of the completion of the Providence of restoration was opened. The wall that blocked the way was also opened, and the way to the new heaven and earth of the Cheon Il Guk was cleared.
At this time, True Parents appeared on the stage, True Mother on earth coming up from under the stage on an elevator, and True Father in heaven coming down as a vision. The chandelier signifying the light of Heavenly Parent also came down. And these three formed a trinity and thus symbolically expressed Cheon Il Guk Age and the Providence still in progress completely united with Heavenly Parent, True Father in spiritual world and True Mother on earth. It was truly a moving scene.
After all set, True Mother presented a bouquet to True Father, which went beyond memorializing True Father’s Seonghwa and celebrated his life with heartfelt joy and glorious victory. Next, she came up to the podium in front of the stage and spoke to us.
True Mother’s words in commemoration of the Seonghwa Festival
True Mother said, at last year’s ceremony commemorating the third anniversary of Seongwha, we entreated True Father like this.
“We will fulfill our responsibility on earth. Therefore, we hope and pray that you, True Father will now be free to go and come as you please, and to solace God, our Heavenly Parent, who has been lonely until now, in the eternal Garden of Original Homeland.”
“What is our responsibility on earth? It is to be proud of and to love True Parents, and to make efforts to propagate the will of True Parents so that all 7.3 billion world population can know of it. Letting them know about True Parents is the hope of humanity and the dream of our Heavenly Parent.”
“In working for Their Dispensation, our Heavenly Parent chose one people to set the indemnity condition in the long course of history, and was thus able to establish the national foundation for the people of Israel. On this foundation, He sent down Jesus Christ, His only begotten son, the son He could claim as His own. However, the central figures failed to fulfill their responsibilities attending him, and so he had to die on the cross, leaving behind the promise to ‘come again’.”
“He said he will return and hold the ‘Feast of the Lamb’, and it is the dream of God and the desire of humanity. This is because, in the fallen world, only by meeting True Parents can we become God’s children again. Humankind cannot do so by themselves, since they cannot go to the Kingdom of God unless they are reborn through True Parents’ Blessing.”
“True Parents, so long awaited, were finally sent to the chosen people of Korea after 6,000 years. Our Heavenly Parent sent down His only begotten son and only begotten daughter and blessed them in the position of True Parents”.
“Then what path do we need to choose? The blessed families need to fulfill their mission as new tribal messiahs in order to go beyond the levels of tribe and nation and build a victorious foundation in the world.”
With these words, True Mother emphasized that such is our responsibility as we celebrate the ‘Seonghwa Festival’ today.
Next, cultural performances were given in the form of a friendly competition of Continental level. Performances prepared by each continent gave meaning to the Festival, of loving, glorifying, and being proud of True Parents.
The performance from Europe was a ballet ensemble of four ballerinas with a modern touch, which was on a completely different level from other continents’ performances.
However, it didn’t receive a high score. One member approached me and said that the performance from Europe was highly artistic, and that maybe the judges had not awarded them a higher score because they did not understand the artistry of ballet.
I believe that this year’s Seonghwa Festival, as planned by True Mother, clearly revealed the ‘culture of heart’ of the Unification Church family. From now on, as our foundation grows, we should establish this Festival as a tradition before the world, and expand it as a joyous, proud and glorious event that evidences the manifestation of True Parents.
Cheon Il Guk International Leaders Conference
The International Leaders Conference was held next. True Mother emphasized that, in order to achieve Vision 2020, at least seven nations must be restored on the national level, and this victory should be dedicated to True Parents.
Therefore, this year’s CIG Leaders Conference was part of the process of selecting thirteen special strategic nations across the world, and the firstly chosen 13 nations presented and shared their strategies and goals.
During the session, I felt happy and passionate to hear on the one hand, but on the other hand it was a difficult time for me, for I felt regretful pain when I thought of the situation of European continent.
On that day, True Mother called a meeting with special emissaries and continental directors at lunchtime, and she called upon me of all people to share my impressions. Being suddenly called forward, I began to speak from the heart without any preparation, and I felt so sorry that I could not help but shed tears.
“Europe is the land of the completion of the Providence of Restoration that cannot be given up”
Some time back, True Mother said, “The European continent, where the 2000-year history of Christianity was unfolded, can be said to be the main stage of our Heavenly Parent’s Providence of Restoration. Therefore, no matter how difficult things may be, we cannot give up Europe”.
She also added, “The six Providential nations in Europe must fulfill their responsibilities”. Remembering these words, I came to think of how great True Mother’s expectations of us are, in comparison to what is actually taking place on the scene.
Beloved blessed family members,
Europe is not a land nor a continent that we can let Satan take. No matter what indemnity we need to pay, we cannot achieve the completion of the Providence without restoring this continent. Until now, many of our elder members have filled in the pit of indemnity course through their innumerable sacrifices. They have sacrificed much, shed much sweat and blood. Even though their sacrifice is still a pain and a heartbreak, but, on the other hand, Heavenly Parent has blessed many wonderful second generations.
Testimony of one proud second generation
Last Sunday, I attended the Youths’ Sunday Service. Simon Marion, a boy who had just returned after finishing this year’s STF program, was scheduled to give a testimony of his experiences during the service.
I was moved and filled with hope as I listened to his words. The experiences of a nineteen-year old second generation in the one-year STF program were truly amazing. It sounded like he had accumulated decisive assets that can determine the rest of his life through that one year’s experience, and that he had experienced the 6,000-year Providential history of Heavenly Parent.
Moreover, when he was persecuted while fundraising, he experienced the heart of True Parents who were persecuted all their lives. This was an experience he couldn’t have undergone anywhere else.
And when STF team went on a pilgrimage of holy grounds in Korea, he shed tears without realizing it, and I think this spiritual rapport was a miracle worked by the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, he was proud of being a blessed child of the Unification Church. After experiencing how great his value is as such, he had told his friend honestly about his own experiences without holding anything back, and his friend had told him that he respected and even loved him.
How proud should we be of this second generation boy? Let us give an applause of encouragement to Simon.
Yes, the blessing we have received is great and deep. Our views of God, history, values, and humankind, based on the Divine Principle, are truly great. We are not aware of how great their values are. When the world learns of our values and our awareness of history, it will respect us. The fact is that we ourselves do not know of these values, and some time we hesitate and even more we hide.
That is why True Mother is telling us that it is now time to reveal the Truth.
The Four Great Holy Items bestowed by True Parents
My dear brothers and sisters, in commemoration of the 56th anniversary of True Parents’ Holy Wedding, True Mother bestowed the Four Great Holy Items to us. By setting the condition of forty-day devotion, we can separate ourselves from evil and unite our mind and body to receive these holy items. As she bestowed the holy items to us, True Mother forgave us on all accounts and allowed us to be reborn through her blessing and prayer.
We are so grateful this time that True Mother gave us these Four Holy Items and gave us the time to repent our life how much we are deviated from the standard of Divine Principle. These Holy Items make us re-start our lives as the Foundation of Faith and become the conditions to make the victory of the Foundation of Substance of Tribal Messiahs.
We are people who have been rid of the original sin by True Parents’ Blessing. Our children are proud second and third generations who were born without the original sin in them.
However, are there no sins in this world? Can we live in a clean house, avoiding all sins in the world? We cannot. We need to fight against the sins of the world and have to win.
In the course of doing so, we ourselves become tainted. We become contaminated. Therefore, we need to clean our mind and body. This is done through the overall forgiveness of True Parents.
Would that mean that the holy wine and the holy salt are chemicals with which you can automatically cleanse yourself of sin? No, they are not. They are a condition. The cleansing of sin can only be made possible through the resolution of the mind and the heart. With that resolution of our mind as our condition, Heavenly Parent forgives us. Faith and resolution are the conditions for forgiveness.
I love the term, ‘Settlement of Noon’ taught to us by True Parents. I believe it to be the absolute truth.
Everyone has shadows. Depending on how you are aligned with the sun, that is Heaven, the length of your shadow varies. The condition is how you are aligned. The condition of receiving the Four Great Holy Items determines how we are to be aligned with our Heavenly Parent who is like the sun to us. Not the items themselves, but the heart and resolution with which you receive them, are the condition.
Beloved blessed family members, brothers and sisters, Let us all live in complete vertical alignment with the sun, so that our lives will be free of shadows.
I have already told you that this year’s Seonghwa Festival was titled, “Filial Affection Toward Heavenly Parent and True Parents becomes the Beacon of the World”. What it means is that True Parents want us to become luminous beings, who can rid ourselves of shadows and live in the settlement of noon, through our heart of filial affection toward Heavenly Parent and True Parents.
True Mother said, “I wish to go to the bright Kingdom of God together with all of you.” This is the heart of the parent. We should respond to that heart of True Parents and work to become victorious individuals, families and communities, and to restore this country of France.
Lastly, I hope and pray that the blessings of Heavenly Parent will be always with you and your families. Thank you.