Thursday, September 20, 2012
Feast of the Korean Martyrs
Good morning. Saint Susanna U Surim, Saint Andrew Kim Taegon and all the martyrs of Korea give witness to the Glory of God. They offer to us an example of what we are all called to in the words of Jesus from today’s Gospel: “So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love.” Our lives should likewise reflect the loving mercy of our Lord. Our lives should be a sign for everyone that we have experienced the forgiveness of Jesus. These individuals, the Martyrs of Korea, provide a clear message that the Kingdom is what is to be pursued in life and not the treasures of this life. In reading further on these Martyrs of Korea, it was interesting to discover that initially the Korean Catholic Church had no ordained leadership. They were so isolated from the rest of Christianity that when the first Chinese priest made his way there in the late 18th century he was surprised to find 4,000 Korean Catholics already there. I have to wonder if we would possess the same fortitude to carry on without any spiritual leadership.
So often in this culture of death we exist in we are inclined to view power, strength, and material things as that which will give our life meaning and purpose. So often I meet couples who struggle in their marriage as a result of not having those things and living the lifestyle society suggests is desired. All too frequently couples separate and justify their position suggesting that continuing to stay married would be untrue to their selves. They just were not happy; it just wasn’t working. “I love him, but I just wasn’t in love anymore.” Or, how often do we find people we presumed to be our friends throw us to the curb for the sake of advancing their own needs. The mantra for current western culture is to “Take care of number one!” Andrew and the other Korean Martyrs and the lesson of today’s Gospel make it clear that life is about much more than stuff and just attending to our own self. Our job is to love, no matter what and give glory to the true Number One.
The love and mercy which connects all of us to God is what truly gives life meaning and gives us purpose to act. The same love which offered mercy and forgiveness in today’s Gospel calls us to do the same. We are called to look beyond the shallow offerings of a culture of death. May we find His love in each other this day and be merciful to each other. May we reflect the loving light of Christ, and may our actions today give glory to the real Number One. Make a great day!
Today we recall the good lives, gifts and works of the 103 Korean Martyrs.
Posted by Donald Gatwood at 6:33 AM