On January 27, a ceremony was held at Shoto Headquarters in Shibuya, Tokyo, to commemorate the Holy Birthday of True Parents, where President Tomihiro Tanaka was welcomed as the guest of honor. In his honorary address, President Tanaka emphasized that we become the substance of happiness and the substance of living for the sake of others as we keep the joy of welcoming True Parents of humankind in our hearts. He offered a congratulatory prayer expressing gratitude to True Parents and determination to fulfill Heaven’s providence.
The Holy Birthday is filled with providential meaning
Today is the Holy Birthday of True Parents. Congratulations, everybody. We may feel sad because we are unable to convey this message to True Parents directly, but let us give a big round of applause filled with overflowing gratitude and appreciation to the Heavenly Parent (God) who gave birth to True Parents on earth.
We are honored that Heaven’s only begotten son and daughter, the True Parents of humankind, share the same birthday. I am truly grateful for this day where we can celebrate the births of these two beloved people together.
True Parents are twenty-three years apart in age. Since True Father’s seonghwa, True Mother has been leading the providence on earth and is still leading the way. When I think of her situation, I can only feel sorry for her. Let us make this a precious day and keep the gratitude towards True Mother, who is leading the providence, in our hearts as we spend this day.
True Mother is now eighty years old. The number eight means “increasingly successful,” and in the Principle, it is the number for a new beginning. We will consecrate the Cheon Il Sanctum of Cheon Won Gung, and I would like to congratulate Mother from the bottom of my heart that she has reached her 80th year. I would like to make 2023 a year in which we live with that celebratory spirit in our hearts.
True Father would’ve turned 103 years old. The other day, True Mother held a hyojeong dedication ceremony to celebrate the 103rd day of Moon Jeong-ah nim’s birth. In the past, we celebrated the 100th day of a blessed second generation’s birth, but since Father’s declaration on June 1, 2000, we have been celebrating the 103rd day of their births.
On that day, True Father said, “Mother was able to bring victory to the second 40-day period of Noah’s flood judgment through her tour of South America, Europe, and Canada; and we could make a new settlement,” and he celebrated the fact that True Mother and Father stood on the same level.
He then proclaimed that the second generation should celebrate the 103rd day of their birth, not the 100th day, and explained that if the second generation were united with True Parents on Noah’s ark after the flood, there would be no conditions for Satan to invade. Let us spend the year 2023 with the significance of the number 103 in mind.
Today is January 27. On this day in 2001, two hundred and ten young couples from 135 countries gathered at the First Conference Hall of the United Nations General Assembly Building for the World Peace Blessing Ceremony. I believe that in many ways, this precious number is included in the Holy Birthday.
An unavoidable conflict of values
The six thousand years of God’s providence of salvation. The welcoming of True Parents on earth was its fruition. At that point, human history made a new start. We have already stepped into a new history for humankind.
This is what is written in True Mother’s memoir.
To live as true people in this world and enjoy eternal life in the next, we need to meet True Parents. We need to meet them even while walking down the path of death. Even if we have lost all of history and our own descendants, when we meet True Parents, we will regain the past and the future.
Moon, Hak Ja. Mother of Peace: And God Shall Wipe Away All Tears from Their Eyes. p. 273.
We must live with the joy we felt when we welcomed True Parents, the joy we felt when we encountered the eternal truth, and the joy that we are able to stand at the forefront of the providence during the same age as them. The life filled with the “thrills, joy and delights” that True Mother spoke of at the beginning of the year must take root.
But now we are faced with many trials that shatter the thrills, joy, and delights. When I visit the churches, second generation ask me such questions as: “Why is our church being persecuted so much?” “True Parents are the Messiah, so why are they being treated so badly?” “I think the problem lies with the church. They say that where there is no fire, there is no smoke.”
Naturally, if we have shortcomings, we must face them head-on, make improvements, and push forward with church reform. On the other hand, we need to know that as long as we are trying to create Heaven on earth—Cheon Il Guk—there are things that will collide with it. I am also trying to convey this point to the second generation.
If we were only to pursue heaven in the spirit world, we might be able to go there without a fight and without resistance. But the desire of heaven is to create heaven on earth.
There are many different sets of values in the world, but most notably, a set of warped, egotistical values is becoming rampant. This permeates every field, including the political, legal and educational fields; the cultural and artistic fields; and the mainstream media. Therefore, conflict with values that come from heaven is inevitable. We must understand this very clearly and become a flock that seriously seeks to create heaven on earth.
People that can demonstrate happiness substantially
The very first sentence in the Introduction to the Exposition of the Divine Principle states, “Everyone is struggling to attain happiness and avoid misfortune.”
All human beings, regardless of ideology or skin color, seek happiness. The truth is what points the way towards happiness, and that truth that has been endowed to us is the Unification Principle. If the Unification Principle cannot clarify the causes that hinder human beings on the path to happiness, it cannot be called a new truth.
So how can human beings attain happiness? True Parents taught us a very simple lesson in their lives. It is to live for the sake of others. It is much more joyful to live for others than for oneself. True Parents showed us that only the path of living for the sake of others leads to a world of eternal happiness and joy.
We are now confronted with a challenge from heaven and from human history: Are we substantially demonstrating the joy of living for the sake of others? That is our destiny as we have encountered this truth.
Whenever I am in front of a group of members, I always ask, “Are you happy?” I usually get two or three yes’. However, I think they all have a sense of happiness since they have encountered True Parents and the truth of the word. But do you feel happiness in your daily lives and in your relationships with the church? This is the question I would like you to ask yourselves deep in your heart. Only when we can show that our happiness is real, can we stand as the Abel realm before all people.
True Parents went through many hardships and trials as they led Heaven’s providence. Do you see them leading their lives as unhappy? Or do you see them as happy?
True Parents have repeatedly said, “Looking back, it was love.” Can all of you say that it was love (that drove you) as you encountered many trials in God’s will?
There was a writer named Viktor Frankl. He was a Jew who was imprisoned in a concentration camp by the Nazis for three years. In his book Night and Fog, which was based on his experiences, he wrote that happiness is not something you seek, but something you suddenly find yourself in when you are living your life solely for the sake of others. These words have stuck with me. “The more you seek happiness, the more it will run away from you. But when you live solely for the sake of others, you will realize this is happiness!” These words truly seem to describe the life of True Parents. I feel that I must take these words to heart again and pursue what happiness is.
A new law, the so-called Victims Relief Bill, has been enacted. However, there are many who say that this law will not save anyone. Some say that those who were victimized after the bill was enacted will be saved, but the victims of the past will not be saved. A university professor makes the following argument:
The new law states that it is a crime if you cause anxiety or fear to make a donation. However, Unification Church (Family Federation) members give without anxiety or fear. Therefore, this kind of law cannot prevent damage. Once they step into the church and are brainwashed, they will just devote themselves to it. There is no anxiety or fear. So the only way to save them is to ensure they don’t join (the church). That is why we have to disband them.
What logic?! There is not a shred of religious spirit to be found in it. For those who listen only to the words of former believers—who were abducted and imprisoned by anti-Unificationists, and then left the faith, and became critical of the Family Federation—it must be very difficult for them to understand our actions and ideas as we live our lives of faith with joy and gratitude.
Joy is magnified and happiness is heightened when we live for a greater cause: for the family rather than the individual, for the clan rather than the family, for the tribe rather than the clan, for the nation rather than the tribe, and so on. We must experience this truth again.
We have been asked, “What can you show substantially?” I think we have been asked this question for a long time. Now is the time to show the world our answer. So let us prove to everyone that we are members, blessed families, and the Family Federation that lives for the sake of others with gratitude and joy for having accepted True Parents.
For True Parents to remain forever as the Parents of humankind
We have a historical mission as those who have lived together with True Parents. Needless to say, that mission is to fulfill heaven’s providence with True Parents. Will True Parents be alive on earth in a hundred or three hundred years? Those of us who are walking with True Parents may not feel this question carries much weight. Still, we need to seriously take a look at how True Parents will be remembered on earth a hundred or three hundred years from now.
No matter how many books we write about True Parents’ wonderful accomplishments and compile a magnificent history book, it would merely be a record of their historical achievements. The question is whether we can continue to preserve True Parents on earth as the Parents of humankind.
Today we are celebrating True Parents’ Holy Birthday. Only children can leave True Parents as Parents. This is because they will remain in the hearts and minds of the children who consider them as their parents. I don’t believe that just by simply honoring and celebrating the achievements of the Parents, it will bring about the eternal manifestation of Cheon Il Guk.
They say that parents don’t use the word “parents” themselves. It is used by children. A father who constantly insists that he is the father (head) of the household, is an awful father. “Father” is not a word that fathers should use (about themselves). It is a term used by sons. It is also strange for a mother to command her children to listen to their “mother.” It can be said that mishap has already begun in a family where parents have to say that they are the parents.
Only when the children are victorious can the parents stand in a victorious position. When we, as children, respect our parents as parents, and when we are filled with the desire to live our lives giving priority to their wishes, feelings, and circumstances, and when our families are filled with such a heart is when parents can be established in our homes. The foundation where True Parents can be established is in the family. Only when True Parents are firmly established in the family can they be firmly established in the nation and become the foundation of Cheon Il Guk.
True Mother blessed Japan, the Mother Nation, as the Heavenly Japan. Since it is not enough to know God, she encouraged us to become a nation that serves God. She also hoped that the heavenly families, or families that serve God, would increase.
Let us seriously challenge ourselves to realize the ideal of the family that Heaven originally wished for. As we do so, I believe that the most important question is the firm establishment of True Parents. Satan has ruled humankind through lineage. True Father said, “The heart is inherited through lineage. Therefore, Heaven takes back humankind through lineage. This is what the Blessing Movement is about.”
All humankind must receive the blessing from True Parents and be linked to heaven’s heart through lineage. We need to stand firm at this moment and establish a family tradition so that our descendants can live unchangingly centered on the heart of True Parents.
The Age of the Family Federation. Let this not be empty words, but let us boldly testify about the grace of this age. Let us welcome the True Parents, whom Heaven has sent to this earth, and be able to call them “my parents” and aim to build such families so that our descendants can be linked to this. Let us make this a precious day where we can make a strong determination as blessed families.
Become the radiance of heaven’s majesty and offer a triumphant song of victory to True Parents
The Heavenly Parent, You have spent 6,000 years of biblical history in search of the one and only couple, that is True Parents. The prophets and chosen people, who answered heaven’s call as the main figures of the providence, had to go through the path of suffering; Jesus was forced to the cross as the only begotten Son; the 2000 years of Christian martyrdom; and the suffering of the Korean people, who were established as the third Israel. Who could have predicted that this path—which God the Parent who has been leading with the sole intention of bringing back His children—would turn out to be a path of such mind-boggling sacrifice? The blood, sweat, and tears that all of these figures have shed throughout the history of indemnity, without truly knowing the reason for it, have come to fruition in the form of the birth of the True Parents of humankind.
However, the birth of our True Parents is also the fruition of overcoming the fierce spiritual struggles that have taken place behind the scenes. In addition, the magnitude of their mission required True Parents to live and overcome unbearable trials while bearing the cross. The life-long journey of suffering, which cannot be fully written even if the sky were a scroll and the sea were ink, tells us the weight of humankind’s sins.
Human history is now at a turning point, and since the historic moment in 1960—where they declared towards heaven that they stood in the position of True Parents—a path was made for humanity to return to the realm of heaven’s lineage, which had lost sight of Parents while mired in the realm of the false lineage. This was truly a miraculous moment in human history. We have now entered an age in which the grace of the blessing, which allows us to return to the Parents’ bosom as heaven’s sons and daughters, can spread limitlessly, not only to all humankind on earth, but also to the billions and trillions of spirits in the spirit world.
However, I am also aware that we, as sons and daughters, stand before the victorious True Parents, with many shortcomings and are the greatest stumbling blocks to Your providence. True Father was sent back to the spirit world without establishing a nation, and currently True Mother, who is now 80 years old, still bears the burden of the entire providence. We are sometimes driven to a state of despair as to how we can repent for this.
We have no problems with the trials and tribulations that Heavenly Japan has been undergoing for the past six months. However, when I think of True Mother’s heartache, I feel so much pain. No matter how many times we tell her, “Mother, we are all right. Don’t worry,” a parent is a parent and Mother will always be Mother. No, rather, I believe that there is a world with painful hearts because they are Parents. Whenever I hear that there are days when she cannot even sleep because her thoughts are for the sake of Japan’s children, we, as sons and daughters, are filled with the desire to liberate Mother as soon as possible.
Heavenly Parent! Do You still have need of us, who are with such shortcomings? We understand that the main figure of the providence is the Heavenly Parent, and it is You who decides whether to have need of us or discard us. As long as Heaven has need of us, as long as Heaven uses us, we will strive to complete our mission as the Abel realm with all our strength and with full commitment.
I am also keenly aware that we are now facing a great impasse to bring the nation back before heaven through the great trials that are unfolding in the Heavenly Japan. Although this is a difficult struggle, we have also been given great hope: our brothers and sisters—every single member—are fighting on the front lines.
Even in the face of persecution, which is reigning down on them like air strikes, I am sure that the Heavenly Parent is moved by their courage of moving forward one step at a time against the winds of adversity, as they hold on to the words they received and adore the Heavenly Parent and True Parents. Our members are truly the righteous people of this day. Mother has also told us that we are heaven’s armament and heaven’s treasure. No matter what challenges we face, we will march forward, looking forward to the moment when we will become heaven’s proud weapons and shine with heaven’s majesty, singing the triumphant song of victory with True Parents.
I earnestly hope for the great blessings of the Heavenly Parent to be on the path we are taking, and above all, I pray for True Mother’s tranquility, who has reached the age of 80. I report this with gratitude and determination.