The Words of In Jin Moon from 2009
Good morning, Chicago. It's lovely to see all of you on this beautiful Sunday morning. We are delighted to be here with all of you. And thank you for giving the band such a warm welcome. I'm sure the band was very much inspired by all of your enthusiasm, just as I am.
I wanted to start off this morning by letting everybody know that our True Parents are very much here with us in spirit. They wanted so much to be here for yesterday's 14th True Family Values Award Banquet, but Chicago had to make do just with me. I felt a little bit sorry about that. But our True Parents were very curious as to how things went and very much wanting to send their love to the Chicago members, letting you know that they're very much with you, always praying about you and always thinking about you. Truly, like the true parents they are, they are always thinking about us as their children, and wondering how we are doing.
If I went on and on about the different people whom I met yesterday, it would have been like a seven-hour Hoon Dok Hae, so I had to make my report brief, but they were very happy and very encouraged by the event and the exciting things that are taking place in Chicago. They very much hope that the good work that you have done thus far will continue.
As I was meditating this morning, thinking about what I would like to talk about today with the congregation, a thought came to mind, very much an image of my father. A couple of days ago, I reread different people's testimonies of my father's trials and tribulations at Hungnam prison, the notorious North Korean concentration camp. I've often wondered what is it about my father that allowed him to survive in this incredibly difficult place for three years, where the majority of prisoners could not even live past six months.
I thought about how much difficulty my father would have had to endure -- the lack of food, the lack of proper clothing, sleep, and rest. But on top of that, I've often thought of how my father is a physical man just like all the others in prison. What was it about him that allowed him to keep on going, to keep on believing, to keep on dreaming? When I prayed about this, I realized that the reason that my father survived for almost three years in the Hungnam concentration camp is that he was able somehow to tap into the power of the human spirit -- the power of the human spirit that comes from God, our eternal Heavenly Parent. By understanding that he was a divine being, with a divine purpose and a reason for why he was living this life and going this course -- I believe that was the reason he was able to survive all the obstacles, all the trials and tribulations that he's had to endure in prison.
When I think about the great men and women of history, I realize that this theme, the power of the human spirit, runs throughout. Just as God works in mysterious ways, if we allow this remarkable power of true love to work in our lives, if we open up our hearts and truly believe -- and not be afraid to be vulnerable in front of God, our Heavenly Parent -- there is an incredible amount of energy that is just waiting to be unleashed deep within our hearts.
When my father speaks about the revolution of true love that is going to change the world and usher in this new time of world peace, he has often said that it must start from the heart. The people of the world -- the brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, and children and parents -- have to tap into this thing called heart. My father has often talked about music being that universal language and love being that universal language. It's something that we all understand, we can all experience, and we can all feel without having to learn to speak French, for instance. A French person can understand the Lovin' Life band just as profoundly as can an English-speaking audience. A German in the audience can understand love just as profoundly as a Japanese person in the audience, if we just open up our hearts and allow ourselves to feel.
When I think about the power of the spirit and how it has miraculously worked in many great men and women's lives, one person comes to mind, Dr. Anne Brooks. She is a phenomenal woman in my mind. She comes from not the best nuclear family setting; she actually comes from a family where her mother was an alcoholic. Because of her addiction, Anne's mother could no longer take care of Anne, and she was sent to live with her father. But because her father was a naval officer and constantly traveling, he could not take care of her. He ended up sending her to a Catholic boarding school.
Anne Brooks arrived there at a tender age, feeling so unwanted and unloved. A child doesn't fully understand all the things that adults are concerned with. A child can't understand why she can't live with her mother any more, can't understand why she can't live with her father, and why she's sent to a boarding school with hundreds of others girls that feel exactly the way she does -- unwanted and unloved.
Here Anne was, determined to make the best go of it. She was trying her best. When she was 11, one profound moment changed her life. She was running from one classroom to another. Going up the stairs, she passed a Ladies Room, and the door was open. As she ran past, she realized someone was crunched over in the corner. Anne didn't want to fling the door open and disturb the person, so she quietly watched. She realized that the person was a nun who taught at the school and she was wiping the toilets while saying a prayer. She was doing it with such meticulous attention that Anne was alarmed, seeing her teacher on all fours in this bathroom, cleaning it with a piece of rag.
She ran to the nun and pleaded with her to get up. The sister got up and said, "What's the matter?" Anne replied, "What are you doing? You're not supposed to be on the floor cleaning the toilet. Let somebody else do it." The sister gazed into Anne's face with her huge, loving brown eyes, looking at her with such profound love and with such profound understanding of humanity. She spoke the words that cleansed this young girl's heart forever. "Anne, it's my honor and privilege to make what is dirty pristine and clean for all of you. It's my honor to take care and love you. I look at you as children without parents because your parents are not here to take care of you. It's my honor and duty, and out of love I do this. Why would I ask another person to do this when my knees and hands are just as good as any other person's?"
This 11-year-old child realized that this nun was living Matthew 25:35-40. Anne realized that the nun was looking at all the girls in the school as needing love and care, and in each and every one of those girls the nun saw Christ. Just as the Good Book reminds us to look at any needy person as Christ and love that person just as we would love Christ, this nun, crawling on all fours, was loving her students, loving her school, because she saw Christ in them. It was her honor and privilege to serve them so that they could be inspired by the show of love and appreciation that she could offer by making the Ladies Room a beautiful place.
Again and again, Dr. Brooks talks about this profound experience. "From then on I wanted to be like this sister. I wanted to make real the passage in Matthew, that a needy person has Christ in them." She converted to Catholicism when she was 13, and when she was 18 and graduated from high school, she decided to live as a nun.
But then something else happened in her life. As she was preparing to live a life in the convent, to take vows of poverty, she experienced excruciatingly painful cramps all over her body. The doctors gave her a dire assessment -- she had rheumatoid arthritis and would not be able to walk again, to be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
Dr. Brooks was so distraught and shocked. She said to herself, "Here I am, ready to give my life to Christ and God, and in the same year I'm struck with rheumatoid arthritis. What is God doing to me? Why is God doing this? Is there a God? Does he not love me? Does he not want me? Am I not his daughter?" These questions plagued her mind.
But one day she realized that if God wanted her to go through this sickness, he must have a reason and purpose. She said, "Let me be my own miracle." Despite her friends' sympathy for her sickness, feeling sorry for her in her wheelchair, she was determined not to let that get her down. She was determined that God put her there for a reason, that if God had her in a wheelchair for a time, he must have a reason, and she was determined to find why. She was determined to make a miracle out of her own life.
She started an intense prayer condition that continued for two years. After two years she met Dr. John Upledger, the founder of the Clearwater Free Clinic. He said to her, "Don't you believe that you can get better?" She answered, "Yes, I believe I can get better. I believe in the miracles of God. I believe that good things will happen to me. But all the doctors I've met thus far have said there is no hope, no cure for me, that I will be confined in this wheelchair all my life."
Being a good Christian man, Dr. Upledger said, "Do you not believe that you will get better?" She answered, "Yes, I do believe." He held her hand and said, "If you believe, then you will get better." He spoke to her about his own experiences as a doctor, "You know, 90 percent of why people get better is that they believe that they can get better. That's the greatest obstacle a person has to overcome. The greatest obstacle is themselves and their own thoughts about their situation. But once they believe that good things are going to happen, that they are going to get better, that's the beginning of a recovery process that can be incredibly miraculous." He continued, "Many times our inability to believe is what allows things like stress to overtake our bodies, to make us more miserable than we need to be. We need to take time for ourselves, take time for deep meditation, time for prayer, to realize that our bodies are holy vessels that hold the divine, and it's our duty to be well so we can express this divinity to the world as unique and beautiful individuals."
So Anne started to believe. She started to meditate, to care about the kind of food she ate. She started to do physical therapy. Within a short time, she was able to gain mobility and could put aside the wheelchair. She visited Dr. Upledger, who by then was teaching at a university, to thank him for his encouragement. He said, "You know, you are somebody touched by God. In your own self-recovery I can see the power of God's spirit working in you. You healed yourself by tapping into this divine spirit. God has a reason why you are here, and I believe you need to be a doctor."
The odds of her being a doctor, coming from a nonacademic background, didn't seem too favorable, but she persevered and found a government program that completely paid for her medical degree if she committed to work in depressed area of the country. She thanked God for that program, and when she graduated she picked the fifth-poorest county in the United States, Tallahatchie County, Mississippi. There she started her ministry of healing. Through her ministry she touched hundreds and hundreds of people -- the untouchables, if you will. She cured people whom nobody wanted to cure. These people didn't have money to see a doctor, but they had love. Many times they couldn't pay for her services, but they brought flowers or a Kleenex box for her office.
By making these people better, she infused them with human dignity and inspired them to dream. She inspired them to look at themselves as something better than they were, just like the way Dr. Upledger saw in her a future great doctor. He encouraged her to heal herself, to go to medical school and become a great doctor.
Over the years a lot of people came to know Dr. Anne Brooks and visit her clinic. Soon different nuns came to work with her. One day a young sister asked, "You are such an awesome representative of God, and you have taken care of so many people. What is it that really drives you to be this incredible person? What is it that makes you such a phenomenal missionary?"
Dr. Brooks answered with a statement that rings true to me each day, whenever I think about her. She replied, "It is not a missionary's job, and it is not my job, to bring God to the people. You have to understand that each and every person that I treat already has Christ in them, already has God in them, already has this incredible power of love in them. I am bringing them nothing, but if I can be God's instrument, the only thing I am doing is helping them find God in themselves."
What Dr. Brooks is saying is that she has experienced the power of the spirit and God working mysteriously in her life. She was condemned to live life in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Through her belief, and through actualizing the biblical passage of Matthew 25:35-40, that all needy people have God in them, she was living that passage by taking care of all these people, helping them find Christ within themselves, the divinity within themselves, reminding them of the power of the spirit that already resides in each and every one of us.
In her missionary work she was doing what Jesus Christ did and what my father has been doing for over 90 years. He's been reminding us that we are God's eternal sons and daughters and that we have an incredible power of the spirit that can transcend any trials and tribulations, any mountains put in our way. As long as we have the courage to believe, as Dr. Maya Angelou so eloquently said, we must have the courage to truly love, even when circumstances make it seem not worth believing.
When I think about Dr. Brooks and the profound impact that this one quiet woman had on hundreds of people through her own life experience, it's clear to me that she was an agent of change for all these people.
Another person comes to mind in whom the power of the spirit is continuing strong. That is none other than our dear brother Mr. Goto, who just came out of an imprisonment by deprogrammers in Japan for twelve years and five months. He was a dedicated member, and I think his parents were not too happy that he was not finishing his studies as an architectural student. They heard all the untrue rumors about our movement, and out of their fear for their son's well-being this poor family was victimized by a deprogramming organization, being literally robbed because they had to pay an incredible amount of money just to have these deprogrammers break Mr. Goto's faith. In Japan, deprogrammers demand anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 from the parents.
I think those of us living here, enjoying our rights under the Constitution, don't fully comprehend what an insult this deprogramming activity is to human rights and what a violation it is of the religious freedom inherent in the constitution of Japan. Japan professes to have a democratic government, with a constitution placed there by General MacArthur after World War II. Article 20 clearly maintains the importance of religious freedom in Japan. Japan prides itself on being one of the superpowers of the world, but to date there have been over 6,000 cases of our brothers and sisters being taken against their will and physically abused.
Deprogrammers who understand the value of purity in our faith rape our sisters in order to break their faith. This has been going on for over 20 years, behind the scenes. The deprogrammers know that Japanese women who go through this type of physical abuse will not be inclined to talk about their suffering publicly, that they would suffer in silence. Our sisters who were raped suffered in isolation, and some have ended their own lives.
This deprogramming issue is alive, a scary phenomenon that is taking place as we speak. Our movement here in America enjoys the freedoms guaranteed to us by the First Amendment of the Constitution, which says that Congress shall make no laws respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the exercise thereof. Our movement has gone through persecution and misunderstanding and members have been kidnapped for deprogramming in the United States too, but under due process of law at least we had a chance to put up a good fight and do something about it.
In Japan, it's a different story. Not only do government authorities work in conjunction with the deprogrammers, but top clergy members and ministers of established religions collaborate to help break the faith of Unificationists. I believe it's our responsibility, as the American movement, to be aware of what's going on in Japan so that we can lend our support to encourage the White House, Capitol Hill, and the Japanese Embassy to do something about it because it is a violation of human rights.
I had the honor of welcoming Mr. Goto at Lovin' Life Ministries at the Manhattan Center, and I had a wonderful opportunity to talk to him about some of the experiences that he's had to endure. He told me his life story, about those twelve years and five months. Truly this is a man who symbolizes unbreakable faith. This is a man who was verbally abused, who was physically abused. Mr. Goto told how the deprogrammers would talk for hours on end about all the atrocities that were supposedly committed in the name of our movement, and all the lies and accusations made against my father and mother and the True Family. He said it was incessant, like Chinese water torture -- hours and hours every day, every day. Without adequate nutrition, the will to fight can grow weary sometimes.
I asked him, "How was it that you were able to go on?" He said, "It was my belief and my relationship with God." He believed that he would be released. He imagined that he would be released. And he knew that God was with him every step of the way. In knowing that God was with him, he was able to tap into his power of spirit and know that he is an eternal, divine being.
Those twelve years and five months were only a phase that he was going through, just the way a caterpillar has to go through a cocooning period, residing in a chrysalis before it can break free to become a beautiful butterfly. Mr. Goto envisioned his time of incarceration, where he had to survive on garbage scraps, as the time when God was cocooning him, preparing him for the day when he would be a beautiful butterfly.
I told him, "You are absolutely right. Your twelve years and five months of untold suffering is something that I cannot even begin to fathom or fully understand. But because of what you have gone through, in a mysterious way God has turned you into the greatest scholar of deprogramming material. You've gotten the equivalent of a Ph.D. in deprogramming. They fed you all the lies, all their perceived facts, so you are like a scholar who knows them better than anybody else. But having gone through this cocooning period, you are poised to be a voice for the voiceless, a face for the faceless. You now have a foundation to speak out against the injustices that are being committed, even as we speak, to our brothers and sisters in Japan. You have been unleashed as a beautiful butterfly, unleashed as an activist, and you have been anointed and touched by God to be that agent of change to deliver the message of what is going on, bearing witness to the injustices that are taking place and how we must come together and fight against these atrocities that are being committed in the superpower of Japan, even as we speak."
Mr. Goto has said to me time and again, "Actually, my incarceration has made me stronger, has made my faith deeper. It's very interesting to me, because when my captors finally realized after twelve years and five months that my faith never wavered, that my faith would never shake, and their tactics would never break me, they simply threw me out. They simply threw me out of the building where I was confined for such a long time with the clothes on my back and a pair of shoes. That was the most liberating moment of my life." He said that at that moment he felt God, he experienced God, he saw God, and he realized what God was preparing him to be. During the twelve years and five months, he probably had doubts, might have gone through incredible upheavals, and questioned God about why he was in that situation -- why me, God?
All of us ask God this question at some time, don't we? For me, being born in the True Family was not an easy thing. Being born into a public life is never easy. Sometimes so many things happen to you and need to be done by you that you feel overwhelmed and ill-equipped, and you feel not ready, not worthy. Many times I've asked God, "Why me? Why can't you find somebody better? Why can't you find somebody who wants to do this more than I do?" Whenever I pray to God like that, a voice would come back, "Why not you?" I'm sure when Mr. Goto prayed to God, "Why me?" God quietly answered back, "Why not you?"
I always say that life is a great gift and it's a wonderful opportunity to grow. But sometimes along the way God puts things in our path that are extremely difficult to overcome, different obstacles and things we have to work out in our attempt to build an ideal family, to deal with all the issues that arise in the family. Sometimes I'm sure all of you will be asking God, just like me, "Why me?" And if you sincerely and prayerfully converse with God, he will tell you what he told me, what he told Mr. Goto, and what he told Dr. Brooks. He will say, "Why not you? Because you are a precious child of God. You are a divine and beautiful specimen of a human being." Each and every one of us is hand-crafted with care and with a divine purpose. Why not us?
My boys are so into working out and looking good for the ladies, and I always remind them, "Please look good for God and please look good for the family." One of the things they like to do is be in top shape. Occasionally I've accompanied them to the gym and seen the different routines they have worked out with barbells, leg lifts, and bicep curls. It's interesting to me as a mother to watch.
If they're not working with a trainer, they are perhaps lifting the barbells, and one brother will keep adding one more weight, then another weight, until the other brother cannot go on any more and looks like he's going to faint. But they always say, "Three more. Or seven more. Count seven more." Or sometimes when they really want to be masochistic they say, "Twenty-one more." They're straining and look like they're about to die, but they keep on going because they want to be in top form.
When I see my children engaged in this strenuous, painful process of building muscles, what they are going through, what they are working toward is what I call the slow burn. Many times in our lives the difficulties that we go through in a husband–wife relationship or a parent–child relationship feels like a process of dying, like a slow burn. But then we need to remember where we're going and why we're here.
The Good Book in Proverbs 29:18 reminds us that where there is no vision, the people perish. But when we have a vision, an understanding of where we're going, an understanding of why we need to go through this process of the slow burn, we know it's because at the end of the day we're going to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, in fine physical form. My children will go through that strenuous process because they want to be fit.
Likewise, as long as we have a vision of who we are as God's sons and daughters and where we are going -- that is, having the opportunity to build something so phenomenal like an ideal family and to leave something beautiful behind, like these beautiful sons and daughters that have been bestowed upon us and put in our care -- we realize that whatever we're going through in terms of helping them grow up into beautiful sons or daughters of God is a process as well. It might be difficult, but if we can do our job and inspire these young people to become internally excellent as well as externally excellent, then we are leaving the world in good hands, leaving it with these heavenly blossoms.
Do you know what Moonie means in Korean? In the English-speaking world, Moonie is a derogatory term, but in Korean moonie means "beautiful design." Our children are going to be like beautiful designs in the world -- eternal, absolute, uniquely beautiful beings who are going to help usher in a new millennium of peace. They are going to grow up and build ideal families and continue the process, so our grandchildren and great-grandchildren can continue on and revel in this new era of peace.
Chicago is a profoundly providential state. Father came here 33 years ago and prophesied that a black man would sit in the White House. Lo and behold, we have a black man sitting in the White House. Yesterday, at the 14th True Family Values Award Ceremony I witnessed something electrifying: not just the wonderful performance of the Lovin' Life Band, but the Soul Children of Chicago. They were phenomenal. When I see a group of children enthused and inspired by the power of the spirit to stay away from gangs, away from drugs, away from addictions -- basically saying, "I am a divine human being and my life is going to be a living testament, a living prayer for God and humanity" -- there is something incredibly beautiful about that. Not only can Chicago give birth to the first black president of the United States but Chicago can be the catalyst through which True Family Values become a reality in the United States.
My mother always told her children, "To dream is the first step, and the rest is up to you." This is something I have challenged and encouraged my children to do: to dream. I tell them, "You have to think of things that people think are impossible." It was an impossibility for Dr. Brooks to walk again, let alone become a doctor. It was an impossibility, when Dr. Martin Luther King was preaching his "I Have a Dream" speech, for a black man to be elected to the Oval Office. But with the good works of the civil rights movement, with the slow burn they've had to go through, now a black man is sitting in the White House. With the slow burn that Dr. Brooks and her sister nuns went through, she has given new life and touched hundreds of children all around the world.
I believe that all of us sitting here in the room are just waiting to unleash our divinity on the world and be the luminous lights that God wants all of us to be. The only thing we need to do is to decide today that we are going to be that agent of change. Just as I encourage and implore my children to reach for the moon, I also remind them, "Not only do you want to reach the moon, but you're already a Moon! Your grandfather is the Reverend Moon, and he gives you kisses and hugs, and encourages you, and Mother Moon gives you hugs and kisses and encourages you to dream. You've already touched the moon, so reaching the moon is just the natural process of who you will become in the future."
Brothers and sisters, please encourage your children to dream, and please encourage your children that they have within them everything that they need to become great. They have the power of the spirit flowing in their veins, as long as they are willing to decide to believe. When they decide to believe and tap into this power of the human spirit, there is nothing that they cannot overcome, that they cannot accomplish. I can only expect great things to come out of Chicago; I can only expect great things to come out of our American movement.
Just as the Bible reminds us in Luke 1:47, "Let us rejoice in the Lord," here at Lovin' Life we are all about celebrating life. We realize that trials, tribulations, difficulties and suffering are part of the process, the cocooning period through which God is preparing us before unleashing us into the world as beautiful butterflies, so we accept it with a grateful heart, with an understanding that God wants us to be His eternal sons and daughters.
So believe, brothers and sisters, in our own power of the spirit and know that our Heavenly Parent is working with us each and every day. The only thing we need to do is turn our life around, decide to be that agent of change, and give everything of ourselves wholeheartedly. Then there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. Then the world peace that my father has so envisioned, has so dreamed about, is just around the corner.
So God bless, and have a wonderful week. Thank you
1: "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
2: Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.
3: For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them;
4: but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.
5: As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6: But at midnight there was a cry, `Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.'
7: Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps.
8: And the foolish said to the wise, `Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
9: But the wise replied, `Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you; go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.'
10: And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut.
11: Afterward the other maidens came also, saying, `Lord, lord, open to us.'
12: But he replied, `Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.'
13: Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
14: "For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property;
15: to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.
16: He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more.
17: So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more.
18: But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money.
19: Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
20: And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, `Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.'
21: His master said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.'
22: And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, `Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.'
23: His master said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.'
24: He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, `Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow;
25: so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.'
26: But his master answered him, `You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed?
27: Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.
28: So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents.
29: For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
30: And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.'
31: "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
32: Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
33: and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left.
34: Then the King will say to those at his right hand, `Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
35: for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
36: I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'
37: Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?
38: And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee?
39: And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?'
40: And the King will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'
41: Then he will say to those at his left hand, `Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;
42: for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
43: I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'
44: Then they also will answer, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?'
45: Then he will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.'
46: And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
November 3, 1946
We, the Japanese people, acting through our duly elected representatives in the National Diet, determined that we shall secure for ourselves and our posterity the fruits of peaceful cooperation with all nations and the blessings of liberty throughout this land, and resolved that never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government, do proclaim that sovereign power resides with the people and do firmly establish this Constitution. Government is a sacred trust of the people, the authority for which is derived from the people, the powers of which are exercised by the representatives of the people, and the benefits of which are enjoyed by the people. This is a universal principle of mankind upon which this Constitution is founded. We reject and revoke all constitutions, laws ordinances, and rescripts in conflict herewith. We, the Japanese people, desire peace for all time and are deeply conscious of the high ideals controlling human relationship and we have determined to preserve our security and existence, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world. We desire to occupy an honored place in an international society striving for the preservation of peace, and the banishment of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance for all time from the earth. We recognize that all peoples of the world have the right to live in peace, free from fear and want. We believe that no nation is responsible to itself alone, but that laws of political morality are universal; and that obedience to such laws is incumbent upon all nations who would sustain their own sovereignty and justify their sovereign relationship with other nations. We, the Japanese people, pledge our national honor to accomplish these high ideals and purposes with all our resources.
CHAPTER I: THE EMPEROR
The Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and the unity of the people, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power.
The Imperial Throne shall be dynastic and succeeded to in accordance with the Imperial House Law passed by the Diet.
The advice and approval of the Emperor in matters of state, and the Cabinet shall be responsible therefor.
The Emperor shall perform only such acts in matters of state as are provided for in this Constitution and he shall not have powers related to government. 2) The Emperor may delegate the performance of his acts in matters of state as may be provided for by law.
When, in accordance with the Imperial House Law, a Regency is established, the Regent shall perform his acts in matters of state in the Emperor's name. In this case, paragraph one of the preceding Article will be applicable.
The Emperor shall appoint the Prime Minister as designated by the Emperor shall appoint the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court as designated by the Cabinet.
The Emperor shall, with the advice and approval of the Cabinet, perform the following acts in matters of state on behalf of the people: (1) Promulgation of amendments of the constitution, laws, cabinet orders and treaties. (2) Convocation of the Diet. (3) Dissolution of the House of Representatives. (4) Proclamation of general election of members of the Diet. (5) Attestation of the appointment and dismissal of Ministers of State and other officials as provided for by law, and of full powers and credentials of Ambassadors and Ministers. (6) Attestation of general and special amnesty, commutation of punishment, reprieve, and restoration of rights. (7) Awarding of honors. (8) Attestation of instruments of ratification and other diplomatic documents as provided for by law. (9) Receiving foreign ambassadors and ministers. (10) Performance of ceremonial functions.
No property can be given to, or received by, the Imperial House, nor can any gifts be made therefrom, without the authorization of the Diet.
CHAPTER II: RENUNCIATION OF WAR
Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. 2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.
CHAPTER III: RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF THE PEOPLE
The conditions necessary for being a Japanese national shall be determined by law.
The people shall not be prevented from enjoying any of the fundamental human rights. These fundamental human rights guaranteed to the people by this Constitution shall be conferred upon the people of this and future generations as eternal and inviolate rights.
The freedoms and rights guaranteed to the people by this Constitution shall be maintained by the constant endeavor of the people, who shall refrain from any abuse of these freedoms and rights and shall always be responsible for utilizing them for the public welfare.
All of the people shall be respected as individuals. Their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness shall, to the extent that it does not interfere with the public welfare, be the supreme consideration in legislation and in other governmental affairs.
All of the people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin. 2) Peers and peerage shall not be recognized. 3) No privilege shall accompany any award of honor, decoration or any distinction, nor shall any such award be valid beyond the lifetime of the individual who now holds or hereafter may receive it.
The people have the inalienable right to choose their public officials and to dismiss them. 2) All public officials are servants of the whole community and not of any group thereof. 3) Universal adult suffrage is guaranteed with regard to the election of public officials. 4) In all elections, secrecy of the ballot shall not be violated. A voter shall not be answerable, publicly or privately, for the choice he has made.
Every person shall have the right of peaceful petition for the redress of damage, for the removal of public officials, for the enactment, repeal or amendment of laws, ordinances or regulations and for other matters; nor shall any person be in any way discriminated against for sponsoring such a petition.
Every person may sue for redress as provided by law from the State or a public entity, in case he has suffered damage through illegal act of any public official.
No person shall be held in bondage of any kind. Involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime, is prohibited.
Freedom of thought and conscience shall not be violated.
Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all. No religious organization shall receive any privileges from the State, nor exercise any political authority. 2) No person shall be compelled to take part in any religious acts, celebration, rite or practice. 3) The State and its organs shall refrain from religious education or any other religious activity.
Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed. 2) No censorship shall be maintained, nor shall the secrecy of any means of communication be violated.
Every person shall have freedom to choose and change his residence and to choose his occupation to the extent that it does not interfere with the public welfare. 2) Freedom of all persons to move to a foreign country and to divest themselves of their nationality shall be inviolate.
Academic freedom is guaranteed.
Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis. 2) With regard to choice of spouse, property rights, inheritance, choice of domicile, divorce and other matters pertaining to marriage and the family, laws shall be enacted from the standpoint of individual dignity and the essential equality of the sexes.
All people shall have the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living. 2) In all spheres of life, the State shall use its endeavors for the promotion and extension of social welfare and security, and of public health.
All people shall have the right to receive an equal education correspondent to their ability, as provided for by law. 2) All people shall be obligated to have all boys and girls under their protection receive ordinary education as provided for by law. Such compulsory education shall be free.
All people shall have the right and the obligation to work. 2) Standards for wages, hours, rest and other working conditions shall be fixed by law. 3) Children shall not be exploited.
The right of workers to organize and to bargain and act collectively is guaranteed.
The right to own or to hold property is inviolable. 2) Property rights shall be defined by law, in conformity with the public welfare. 3) Private property may be taken for public use upon just compensation therefor.
The people shall be liable to taxation as provided for by law.
No person shall be deprived of life or liberty, nor shall any other criminal penalty be imposed, except according to procedure established by law.
No person shall be denied the right of access to the courts.
No person shall be apprehended except upon warrant issued by a competent judicial officer which specifies the offense with which the person is charged, unless he is apprehended, the offense being committed.
No person shall be arrested or detained without being at once infomed of the charges against him or without the immediate privilege of counsel; nor shall he be detained without adequate cause; and upon demand of any person such cause must be immediately shown in open court in his presence and the presence of his counsel.
The right of all persons to be secure in their homes, papers and effects against entries, searches and seizures shall not be impaired except upon warrant issued for adequate cause and particularly describing the place to be searched and things to be seized, or except as provided by Article 33. 2) Each search or seizure shall be made upon separate warrant issued by a competent judicial officer.
The infliction of torture by any public officer and cruel punishments are absolutely forbidden.
In all criminal cases the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial tribunal. 2) He shall be permitted full opportunity to examine all witnesses, and he shall have the right of compulsory process for obtaining witnesses on his behalf at public expense. 3) At all times the accused shall have the assistance of competent counsel who shall, if the accused is unable to secure the same by his own efforts, be assigned to his use by the State.
No person shall be compelled to testify against himself. 2) Confession made under compulsion, torture or threat, or after prolonged arrest or detention shall not be admitted in evidence. 3) No person shall be convicted or punished in cases where the only proof against him is his own confession.
No person shall be held criminally liable for an act which was lawful at the time it was committed, or of which he had been acquitted, nor shall he be placed in double jeopardy.
Any person may, in case he is acquitted after he has been arrested or detained, sue the State for redress as provided for by law.
CHAPTER IV: THE DIET
The Diet shall be the highest organ of the state power, and shall be the sole law-making organ of the State.
The Diet shall consist of two Houses, namely the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors.
Both Houses shall consist of elected members, representative of all the people. 2) The number of the members of each House shall be fixed by law.
The qualifications of members of both Houses and their electors shall be fixed by law. However, there shall be no discrimination because of race, creed, sex, social status, family origin, education, property or income.
The term of office of members of the House of Representatives shall be four years. However, the term shall be terminated before the full term is up in case the House of Representatives is dissolved.
The term of office of members of the House of Councillors shall be six years, and election for half the members shall take place every three years.
Electoral districts, method of voting and other matters pertaining to the method of election of members of both Houses shall be fixed by law.
No person shall be permitted to be a member of both Houses simultaneously.
Members of both Houses shall receive appropriate annual payment from the national treasury in accordance with law.
Except in cases as provided for by law, members of both Houses shall be exempt from apprehension while the Diet is in session, and any members apprehended before the opening of the session shall be freed during the term of the session upon demand of the House.
Members of both Houses shall not be held liable outside the House for speeches, debates or votes cast inside the House.
An ordinary session of the Diet shall be convoked once per year.
The Cabinet may determine to convoke extraordinary sessions of the Diet. When a quarter or more of the total members of either House makes the demand, the Cabinet must determine on such convocation.
When the House of Representatives is dissolved, there must be a general election of members of the House of Representatives within forty(40) days from the date of dissolution, and the Diet must be convoked within thirty(30) days from the date of the election. 2) When the House of Representatives is dissolved, the House of Councillors is closed at the same time. However, the Cabinet may, in time of national emergency, convoke the House of Councillors in emergency session. 3) Measures taken at such session as mentioned in the proviso of the preceding paragraph shall be provisional and shall become null and void unless agreed to by the House of Representatives within a period of ten(10) days after the opening of the next session of the Diet.
Each House shall judge disputes related to qualifications of its members. However, in order to deny a seat to any member, it is necessary to pass a resolution by a majority of two-thirds or more of the members present.
Business cannot be transacted in either House unless one-third or more of total membership is present. 2) All matters shall be decided, in each House, by a majority of those present, except as elsewhere provided for in the Constitution, and in case of a tie, the presiding officer shall decide the issue.
Deliberation in each House shall be public. However, a secret meeting may be held where a majority of two-thirds or more of those members present passes a resolution therefor. 2) Each House shall keep a record of proceedings. This record shall be published and given general circulation, excepting such parts of proceedings of secret session as may be deemed to require secrecy. 3) Upon demand of one-fifth or more of the members present, votes of the members on any matter shall be recorded in the minutes.
Each House shall select its own president and other officials. 2) Each House shall establish its rules pertaining to meetings, proceedings and internal discipline, and may punish members for disorderly conduct. However, in order to expel a member, a majority of two-thirds or more of those members present must pass a resolution thereon.
A bill becomes a law on passage by both Houses, except as otherwise provided for by the Constitution. 2) A bill, which is passed by the House of Representatives, and upon which the House of Councillors makes a decision different from that of the House of Representatives, becomes a law when passed a second time by the House of Representatives by a majority of two-thirds or more of the members present. 3) The provision of the preceding paragraph does not preclude the House of Representatives from calling for the meeting of a joint committee of both Houses, provided for by law. 4) Failure by the House of Councillors to take final action within sixty(60) days after receipt of a bill passed by the House of Representatives, time in recess excepted, may be determined by the House of Representatives to constitute a rejection of the said bill by the House of Councillors.
The budget must first be submitted to the House of Representatives. 2) Upon consideration of the budget, when the House of Councillors makes a decision different from that of the House of Representatives, and when no agreement can be reached even through a joint committee of both Houses, provided for by law, or in the case of failure by the House of Councillors to take final action within thirty(30) days, the period of recess excluded, after the receipt of the budget passed by the House of Representatives, the decision of the House of Representatives shall be the decision of the Diet.
The second paragraph of the preceding Article applies also the the Diet approval required for the conclusion of treaties.
Each House may conduct investigations in relation to government, and may demand the presence and testimony of witnesses, and the production of records.
The Prime Minister and other Ministers of State may, at any time, appear in either House for the purpose of speaking on bills, regardless of whether they are members of the House or not. They must appear when their presence is required in order to give answers or explanations.
The Diet shall set up an impeachment court from among the members of both Houses for the purposes of trying those judges against whom removal proceedings have been instituted. 2) Matters relating to impeachment shall be provided for by law.
CHAPTER V: THE CABINET
Executive power shall be vested in the Cabinet.
The Cabinet shall consist of the Prime Minister, who shall be its head, and other Ministers of State, as provided for by law. 2) The Prime Minister and other Ministers of State must be civilians. 3) The Cabinet shall, in the exercise of executive power, be collectively responsible to the Diet.
The Prime Minister shall be designated from among the members of the Diet by a resolution of the Diet. This designation shall precede all other business. 2) If the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors disagree and if no agreement can be reached even through a joint committee of both Houses, provided for by law, or the House of Councillors fails to make designation within ten(10) days, exclusive of the period of recess, after the House of Representatives has made designation, the decision of the House of Representatives shall be the decision of the Diet.
The Prime Minister shall appoint the Ministers of State. However, a majority of their number must be chosen from among the members of the Diet. 2) The Prime Minister may remove the Ministers of State as he chooses.
If the House of Representatives passes a non-confidence resolution, or rejects a confidence resolution, the Cabinet shall resign en masse, unless the House of Representatives is dissolved within ten(10) days.
When there is a vacancy in the post of Prime Minister, or upon the first convocation of the Diet after a general election of members of the House of Representatives, the Cabinet shall resign en masse.
In the cases mentioned in the two preceding Articles, the Cabinet shall continue its functions until the time when a new Prime Minister is appointed.
The Prime Minister, representing the Cabinet, submits bills, reports on general national affairs and foreign relations to the Diet and exercises control and supervision over various administrative branches.
The Cabinet shall, in addition to other general administrative functions, perform the following functions: (1) Administer the law faithfully; conduct affairs of state. (2) Manage foreign affairs. (3) Conclude treaties. However, it shall obtain prior or, depending on circumstances sudsequent approval of the Diet. (4) Administer the civil service, in accordance with standards established by law. (5) Prepare the budget, and present it to the cabinet orders in order to execute the provisions of this Constitution and of the law. However, it cannot include penal provisions in such cabinet orders unless authorized by such law. (7) Decide on general amnesty, special amnesty, commutation of punishment, reprieve, and restoration of rights.
All laws and cabinet orders shall be signed by the competent Minister of State and countersigned by the Prime Minister.
The Ministers of State shall not, during their tenure of office, be subject to legal action without the consent of the Prime Minister. However, the right to take that action is not impaired hereby.
CHAPTER VI: JUDICIARY
The whole judicial power is vested in a Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as are established by law. 2) No extraordinary tribunal shall be established, nor shall any organ or agency of the Executive be given final judicial power. 3) All judges shall be independent in the exercise of their conscience and shall be bound only by this Constitution and the laws.
The Supreme Court is vested with the rule-making power under which it determines the rules of procedure and of practice, and of matters relating to attorneys, the internal discipline of the courts and the administration of judicial affairs. 2) Public procurators shall be subject to the rule-making power of the Supreme Court. 3) The Supreme Court may delegate the power to make rules for inferior courts to such courts.
Judges shall not be removed except by public impeachment unless judicially declared mentally or physically incompetent to perform official duties. No disciplinary action against judges shall be administered by any executive organ or agency.
The Supreme Court shall consist of a Chief Judge and such number of judges as may be determined by law; all such judges excepting the Chief Judge shall be appointed by the Cabinet. 2) The appointment of the judges of the Supreme Court shall be reviewed by the people at the first general election of members of the House of Representatives following their appointment, and shall be reviewed again at the first general election of members of the House of Representatives after a lapse of ten(10) years, and in the same manner thereafter.
The judges of the inferior courts shall be appointed by the Cabinet from a list of persons nominated by the Supreme Court. All such judges shall hold office for a term of ten(10) years with privilege of reappointment, provided that they shall be retired upon the attainment of the age as fixed by law. 2) The judges of the inferior courts shall receive, at regular stated intervals, adequate compensation which shall not be decreased during their terms of office.
The Supreme Court is the court of last resort with power to determine the constitutionality of any law, order, regulation or official act.
Trials shall be conducted and judgement declared publicly. 2) Where a court unanimously determines publicity to be dangerous to public order or morals, a trial may be conducted privately, but trials of political offenses, offenses involving the press or cases wherein the rights of people as guaranteed in CHAPTER III of this Constitution are in question shall always be conducted publicly.
CHAPTER VII: FINANCE
The power to administer national finances shall be exercised as the Diet shall determine.
No new taxes shall be imposed or existing ones modified except by law or under such conditions as law may prescribe.
No money shall be expended, nor shall the State obligate itself, except as authorized by the Diet.
The Cabinet shall prepare and submit to the Diet for its consideration and decision a budget for each fiscal year.
In order to provide for unforeseen deficiencies in the budget, a reserve fund may be authorized by the Diet to be expended upon the responsibility of the Cabinet must get subsequent approval of the Diet for all payments from the reserve fund.
All property of the Imperial Household shall belong to the State. All expenses of the Imperial Household shall be appropriated by the Diet in the budget.
No public money or other property shall be expended or appropriated for the use, benefit or maintenance of any religious institution or association, or for any charitable, educational or benevolent enterprises not under the control of public authority.
Final accounts of the expenditures and revenues of the State shall be audited annually by a Board of Audit and submitted by the Diet, together with the statement of audit, during the fiscal year immediately following the period covered. 2) The organization and competency of the Board of Audit shall be determined by law.
At regular intervals and at least annually the Diet and the people on the state of national finances.
CHAPTER VIII: LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT
Regulations concerning organization and operations of local public entities shall be fixed by law in accordance with the principle of local autonomy.
The local public entities shall establish assemblies as their deliberative organs, in accordance with law. 2) The chief executive officers of all local public entities, the members of their assemblies, and such other local officials as may be determined by law shall be elected by direct popular vote within their several communities.
Local public entities shall have the right to manage their property, affairs and administration and to enact their own regulations within law.
A special law, applicable only to one local public entity, cannot be enacted by the Diet without the consent of the majority of the voters of the local public entity concerned, obtained in accordance with law.
CHAPTER IX: AMENDMENTS
Amendments to this Constitution shall be initiated by the Diet, through a concurring vote of two-thirds or more of all the members of each House and shall thereupon be submitted to the people for ratification, which shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of all votes cast thereon, at a special referendum or at such election as the Diet shall specify. 2) Amendments when so ratified shall immediately be promulgated by the Emperor in the name of the people, as an integral part of this Constitution.
CHAPTER X: SUPREME LAW
The fundamental human rights by this Constitution guaranteed to the people of Japan are fruits of the age-old struggle of man to be free; they have survived the many exacting tests for durability and are conferred upon this and future generations in trust, to be held for all time inviolate.
This Constitution shall be the supreme law of the nation and no law, ordinance, imperial rescript or other act of government, or part thereof, contrary to the provisions hereof, shall have legal force or validity. 2) The treaties concluded by Japan and established laws of nations shall be faithfully observed.
The Emperor or the Regent as well as Ministers of State, members of the Diet, judges, and all other public officials have the obligation to respect and uphold this Constitution.
CHAPTER XI: SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS
This Constitution shall be enforced as from the day when the period of six months will have elapsed counting from the day of its promulgation. 2) The enactment of laws necessary for the enforcement of this Constitution, the election of members of the House of Councillors and the procedure for the convocation of the Diet and other preparatory procedures necessary for the enforcement of this Constitution may be executed before the day prescribed in the preceding paragraph.
If the House of Councillors is not constituted before the effective date of this Constitution, the House of Representatives shall function as the Diet until such time as the House of Councillors shall be constituted.
The term of office for half the members of the House of Councillors serving in the first term under this Constitution shall be three years. Members falling under this category shall be determined in accordance with law.
The Ministers of State, members of the House of Representatives, and judges in office on the effective date of this Constitution, and all other public officials who occupy positions corresponding to such positions as are recognized by this Constitution shall not forfeit their positions automatically on account of the enforcement of this Constitution unless otherwise specified by law. When, however, successors are elected or appointed under the provisions of this Constitution, they shall forfeit their positions as a matter of course.
THE CONSTITUTION OF JAPAN (November 3, 1946)
I rejoice that the foundation for the construction of a new Japan has been laid according to the will of the Japanese people, and hereby sanction and promulgate the amendments of the Imperial Japanese Constitution effected following the consultation with the Privy Council and the decision of the Imperial Diet made in accordance with Article 73 of the said Constitution.
HIROHITO, Seal of the Emperor, This third day of the eleventh month of the twenty-first year of Showa (November 3, 1946).
Prime Minister and concurrently Minister for Foreign Affairs
Minister of State
Baron SHIDEHARA Kijuro,
Minister of Justice
Minister for Home Affairs
Minister of Education
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
Minister of State
Minister of Communication
Minister of Commerce and Industry
Minister of Welfare
Minister of State
Minister of Transportation
Minister of Finance
Minister of State
Minister of State
1: He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck
will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
2: When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
3: He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
but one who keeps company with harlots squanders his substance.
4: By justice a king gives stability to the land,
but one who exacts gifts ruins it.
5: A man who flatters his neighbor
spreads a net for his feet.
6: An evil man is ensnared in his transgression,
but a righteous man sings and rejoices.
7: A righteous man knows the rights of the poor;
a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.
8: Scoffers set a city aflame,
but wise men turn away wrath.
9: If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.
10: Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless,
and the wicked seek his life.
11: A fool gives full vent to his anger,
but a wise man quietly holds it back.
12: If a ruler listens to falsehood,
all his officials will be wicked.
13: The poor man and the oppressor meet together;
the LORD gives light to the eyes of both.
14: If a king judges the poor with equity
his throne will be established for ever.
15: The rod and reproof give wisdom,
but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
16: When the wicked are in authority, transgression increases;
but the righteous will look upon their downfall.
17: Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart.
18: Where there is no prophecy the people cast off
but blessed is he who keeps the law.
19: By mere words a servant is not disciplined,
for though he understands, he will not give heed.
20: Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
21: He who pampers his servant from childhood,
will in the end find him his heir.
22: A man of wrath stirs up strife,
and a man given to anger causes much transgression.
23: A man's pride will bring him low,
but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
24: The partner of a thief hates his own life;
he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.
25: The fear of man lays a snare,
but he who trusts in the LORD is safe.
26: Many seek the favor of a ruler,
but from the LORD a man gets justice.
27: An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
but he whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.
1: Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us,
2: just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word,
3: it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent The-oph'ilus,
4: that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed.
5: In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechari'ah, of the division of Abi'jah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
6: And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7: But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
8: Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty,
9: according to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
10: And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.
11: And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12: And Zechari'ah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.
13: But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechari'ah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
14: And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; 15: for he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.
16: And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God,
17: and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Eli'jah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."
18: And Zechari'ah said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years."
19: And the angel answered him, "I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news.
20: And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things come to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time."
21: And the people were waiting for Zechari'ah, and they wondered at his delay in the temple.
22: And when he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he made signs to them and remained dumb.
23: And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.
24: After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she hid herself, saying,
25: "Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men."
26: In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
27: to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28: And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"
29: But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.
30: And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31: And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
32: He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
33: and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."
34: And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?"
35: And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
36: And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
37: For with God nothing will be impossible."
38: And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
39: In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah,
40: and she entered the house of Zechari'ah and greeted Elizabeth.
41: And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
42: and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43: And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44: For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.
45: And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."
46: And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,
47: and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48: for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
49: for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
50: And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.
51: He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
52: he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree;
53: he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.
54: He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
55: as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever."
56: And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.
57: Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son.
58: And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
59: And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechari'ah after his father,
60: but his mother said, "Not so; he shall be called John."
61: And they said to her, "None of your kindred is called by this name."
62: And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called.
63: And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." And they all marveled.
64: And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.
65: And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea;
66: and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him.
67: And his father Zechari'ah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
68: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people,
69: and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,
70: as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71: that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us;
72: to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant,
73: the oath which he swore to our father Abraham,
74: to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear,
75: in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.
76: And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77: to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,
78: through the tender mercy of our God, when the day shall dawn upon us from on high
79: to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
80: And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel.