May 1, 2011, Cheon Bok Gung, Yongsan Seoul Korea
Hello, brothers and sisters.
Today I am sending my Sunday message from Rome.
I have prepared my sermon with the title “The King among Kings who became the Owner of Rome.” First, let’s read chapter 4 of the Book of Acts, verses 7 thru 11.
7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them:“By what power or what name did you do this?”
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!
9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed,
10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.
11 Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’
In this very important passage, apostles are doing spiritual works in the name of Jesus. At that time they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and that was when many miracles were occurring such that it seemed they could not be true. In that situation, the apostles, particularly John and Peter were captured and were thrown into prison. Then opposing Jewish groups asked them by whose authority they were doing those works. And the apostles replied as we just read in the Bible quote: We did it in the name of Jesus. Both that small group, and the authority with which they healed those people, came from Christ. Metaphorically speaking, the stone that architects had abandoned became the cornerstone. This is a very significant Bible quote.
Here in Rome, we saw the painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel of Adam and God’s fingers connected together, which depicts the creation [of Adam], and is Michelangelo’s final masterpiece. We were looking at this and other famous masterpieces yesterday. I was taken aback by one incident. While we were there I was sharing some words with with the director of the second generation department in Europe. And he said this: “It’s truly sad. These great foundations of Christianity were prepared for the returning Lord, but the returning Lord is now 91 years old and he is visiting Rome as a tourist. How miserable and sad a reality that is.”
The day before yesterday we went to St. Peter’s Square, in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, in the Vatican where the Pope speaks while giving outdoor Mass. The Pope speaks in front of huge crowds gathered here. When the Lord of Second Advent came, it seems very sad that he just came alone, quietly like this, as our brother said. However, when I heard this, I said to him, “It is not finished until God says it is finished.”
As I was coming here, I thought a lot about Jesus. We have to remember that when Jesus Christ was on earth, when that Cornerstone was here in this world, only 12 disciples followed him. He was under the shadow of Jerusalem. Jerusalem was a powerful city, religious city, and a holy place. Even though Jesus was the king among kings, he was not welcomed in Jerusalem. No one knew him. He was an obscure and unknown person. Jesus was meant to appear there as a king among kings; yet he was persecuted and crucified, put to death.
I am thinking about how Jesus would teach, sharing the Word with his disciples in the vicinity of Jerusalem. I thought of this because we do hoondokhae in attendance of True Parents every day. Now it’s time for hoondokhae [here]. As we attend True Parents, what I feel is that this group is a small group. There are not many members, only some 200 blessed families in all of Italy. But in front of this tremendous power in Rome, this center of religion and holy land, True Parents must appear as the king of kings. As I see True Parents giving their teachings in Rome, I come to think about Jesus.
The path walked by Christ is never a glorious one. As True Father has mentioned, it is sad and lonely path. If we truly understand what kind of path the Lord has had to travel—he was persecuted for us, tortured for us, he walked the road to death and hell for us, was hung on the cross, had to receive hatred and ridicule for our sake. True Parents’ life course has been the road to save us. That has not just been their life course; it is also True Parents’ love.
At the ‘Cosmic Assembly for the Settlement of the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind and for the Proclamation of the Word by God’s Substantial Self’ in Rome, Italy, 1000 Unification Church members and peace ambassadors gathered together. This was a very important time in Rome. This weekend the late Pope John Paul II is to be beatified [one step before sainthood]. Approximately 5 million believers came to Rome and the presidents of various countries of some 51 different head of states came to Rome to participate and observe. That huge and magnificent ceremony just like in Jerusalem is happening. But where is the Lord? Where is Jesus?
True has mentioned that many Jesus pictures of Jesus are hung up but Jesus is not there. What Father means by these words is that when we ask where Jesus really is, in the middle of such a splendid ceremony, the answer is that he is with True Parents!
Observing this, I said to that second generation director of Europe, “Yet I don’t feel despair. Rather, I feel hope. That’s because as I think of Jesus, as I think of True Parents being in Rome now, even though we do not have the situation where 5 million followers have gathered, True Parents are teaching with the truth and Holy Spirit just as Jesus did.” And I said, “Under no circumstances can we evaluate the Lord at his Second Advent based on how many believers are following him.”
Only twelve disciples followed Jesus, but if we were to evaluate him based on that number alone, Jesus would be considered a big failure. Yet, before the tremendous power of religion [in his day], and within the Holy Land, Jesus was the Holy Land itself. And within this tremendous Holy Land of the Vatican and Rome, True Parents [today] are the “Holy Land.”
Brothers and sisters, the other day we visited the Catacombs, underground tombs where the bodies of 500,000 Christians were buried over 300 years. Entering the catacombs, we realized how much the Christians had been persecuted for 300 years. When Christianity first came to Rome, this area was part of the Greek religious sphere. It was not a Christian area at all. Rather, Christianity was seen as heresy, the minority, and if someone believed in Christianity, he was killed. It’s said that Christians buried each other’s brothers and sisters who died, here in the catacombs, but I was really surprised. In the endless tunnels, there were hundreds of thousands of burial spaces with enough space only for a dead body to be laid. Entering there, we could see truly how much Christians were persecuted, how much blood was shed in this city of Rome, centered on the established Greek powers.
Brothers and Sisters, because the Christians were persecuted, one day they were able to overcome even Rome. Today it is indeed Christianity, Catholicism that is now seated at the center of Rome.
I was talking with the Italian church leader, and Unificationists are truly a minority here. In all of Italy, there are only about 200 families. However, if we were to compare with the time of Jesus, this is tremendous, a tremendous blessing. If these 200 families, together with all of the worldwide members, would gather their the voices of Cham Bumonim Eog-mansei—the vibration of love, the vibration of praise for the Lord—I believe that the many Christians who long for the Holy Spirit today, Christians who persecuted the returning Lord, and even Italian Christians, will come seeking for Unificationism.
Brothers and Sisters, I was doing a little research, and in 1963, there was a meteorologist named Edward Lorenz. He coined the famous term, the Butterfly Effect. You have probably heard of it. Edward Lorenz discovered what is called the Chaos Theory, and he was doing some calculations one day in order to forecast the weather. He was putting in various numbers into a computer model, in order to come up with the daily forecast. He was trying to input the number ‘0.506127’ and in order to shorten it, he put in only ‘0.506.’ but because the final digits were cut off, the result of the forecast became completely different. Through this, Lorenz was able to see mathematically, that this minor difference created a huge change in the weather forecast. He was able to prove this mathematically.
Thus, what this famous term, ‘the Butterfly Effect’ means. An illustration would be a butterfly in South America flapping its wings then a typhoon could result in the USA. So, after confirming the numbers scientifically, Edward Lorenz announced this Effect before scientists and published his famous theory. This points to the fact that even a very tiny, tiny matter, a tiny change in an incident can lead to completely different results.
When all of us can take part in the Cham Bumonim Eog-mansei with a pure mind, motivation and heart, brothers and sisters, I am convinced that vibration is a thousand times more powerful than a butterfly flapping its wings! Brothers and sisters, if a butterfly flapping its wings in one country can produce a typhoon in another country, how tremendous would the Cham Bumonim Eog-mansei vibration of the love of the purpose of creation, the vibration of the love of the followers, the Cham Bumonim Eog-mansei of love for the Lord be?
Brothers and Sisters, today, when we bring together the Cham Bumonim Eog-mansei vibration of eternal peace, if we think truly about the Butterfly Effect, how a small vibration can create truly incredible change, and think also that within this vibration, the Holy Spirit wants to manifest itself, as this vibration has already started in Italy, together with our brothers sisters of Italy, let’s truly send our True Parents glory and victory from this sanctuary with all of our heart.
Brothers and Sisters, today we are heading for Norway. We offer our service together with everyone with our heart, and I will conclude here. All glory, eternal peace, Cham Bumonim Eog-mansei! Thank you.
Let’s close together with Father’s words. Aju.
“We have done our best with limited time to translate our international president’s sermon, and are pleased to present it to you here in English. Any misunderstanding or lack of clarity in meaning is our responsibility. You are welcome to contact Nina Rosario (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you feel something needs to be more clearly expressed.”