The number of people who committed suicide in Japan from January through August came to 22,362, an increase of 971 or 4.5% from a year earlier, a National Police Agency report showed Monday. If the current pace continues the annual figure could match the record of 34,427 marked in 2003. Of the total during the eight-month period, 16,008 were men and 6,354 women, according to the preliminary survey.
Reducing the number of suicides requires bringing people hope and, of course, since Im Catholic that hope is based in Jesus who, for one example, in confession absolves us of our sins and by doing so gives us renewed hope. Pope Benedict speaks of hope many times and on many occasions. His latest was several days ago during a homily in the Czech Republic.
Dear friends, regarding the character of today’s liturgical assembly, I gladly supported the decision, mentioned by your Bishop, to base the Scripture readings for Mass on the theme of hope: I supported it in consideration of the people of this beloved land as well as Europe and the whole of humanity, thirsting as it does for something on which to base a firm future. In my second Encyclical, Spe Salvi, I emphasized that the only “certain” and “reliable” hope (cf. no. 1) is founded on God.
History has demonstrated the absurdities to which man descends when he excludes God from the horizon of his choices and actions, and how hard it is to build a society inspired by the values of goodness, justice and fraternity, because the human being is free and his freedom remains fragile. Freedom has constantly to be won over for the cause of good, and the arduous search for the “right way to order human affairs” is a task that belongs to all generations (cf. ibid., 24-25). That, dear friends, is why our first reason for being here is to listen, to listen to a word that will show us the way that leads to hope; indeed, we are listening to the only word that can give us firm hope, because it is God’s word.
I strongly encourage everyone to read the rest of the homily click here