September 20, 2017

Korean Martyrs

September 20, 2017:

SS. Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest,
Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs

  • 'Angel' pin:  [Christ was] seen by angels (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' pin:  I'll thank God with all my heart (psalm)
  • 'Food' tie:  The Lord gave food to those who fear him (psalm); the Son of Man came eating and drinking...  (gospel)
  • 'Owl' tie pin:  Wisdom is vindicated by all her children. (gospel)
  • Red in shirt and suspenders, 'blood drop' pin:  Korean martyrs

Never give in to negativity.  Keep building, trying to make the world conform more fully to God’s plan.  Build on who you are:  if you're on the ground or sitting, get up and go.  If  you're bored, fill your life with good works.  God doesn't want to frustrate hope.  Everything is born to bloom.  Use your God-given gifts to help our human family to grow in freedom, justice, and dignity.  Peace is in our midst; don't listen to voices of hate and division.  Defend and protect the light Jesus gave us.  Dream, live, love, believe, and be a beacon of hope!
    "We played the flute..."
  • 1 Tm 3:14-16  You should know how to behave in the household of God, the Church, the foundation of truth.  Great is the mystery of devotion, Who was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed to Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up in glory.
  • Ps 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6  "How great are the works of the Lord!"  I'll thank the Lord with all my heart.  He's gracious and merciful, and just.  He gave food to those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever....
  • Lk 7:31-35  “The people of this generation are like children who call, ‘We played the flute, but you didn't dance.  We sang a dirge, but you didn't weep.’  John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine, and you said, ‘He's possessed.’  The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you said, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, friend of tax collectors and sinners.’  But wisdom is vindicated by her children.”
  • Creighton:  In the 1st reading, part of a group of communications about pastoral matters, Paul defines the place and importance of the church in our lives and underlines the core of our belief:  One shown to us in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed by Gentiles, believed in worldwide, and taken up in glory. / What's our generation like?  Do we never seem happy or satisfied?  Do we reject God's word?  John the Baptist was rejected as too austere; Jesus because he associated with sinners.  Don't close your mind to God's wisdom. The last words of Fr. Andrew, remembered today, were, “ My immortal life is beginning.  Become Christians if you wish to be happy after death....”
  • One Bread, One Body:  "The key to true freedom":  Human beings are under authority:  if not God, maybe Satan; if not the Church, some other authority.  There's freedom only under the authority of Christ and his Church.  Because the Truth sets us free and the Church is "the pillar of truth," the key to freedom is submission to Jesus.  May we love authority, truth, and freedom in Christ and love the Church as he did.
    103 Korean martyrs/ Hak Jin Moon
  • Passionist:  Today's saints were martyred in 19th century Korea.   Andrew was the first Korean Catholic priest, Paul Chong Ha Sang was an important lay leader and catechist, and the others were apparently ordinary Catholics rounded up to try to stamp out Christianity; all were killed violently in public.  By the time they were martyred, Christianity had been growing in Korea over 75 years.  The Korean Catholic Church is the only known Catholic community developed completely from lay Christians' witness and work.  The rulers discouraged foreign religion, then outlawed it and persecuted its adherents.  As Christians were tortured and killed, the Church moved underground.  Andrew’s parents, part of that community, remained faithful.  Andrew attended seminary in Macau and was ordained at 24.  He returned to help organize the Church and celebrate the sacraments till he was martyred a year later.  May the Korean martyrs' faith and courage inspire us to be faithful to the Gospel and fearless witnesses for Christ.
  •  The children are disappointed because they can't convince others to join in their game.  This echoes "A time to weep, a time to laugh; a time to mourn, a time to dance."  Occasions demand responses; indifference or disdain is unfitting and unkind.  Jesus' message is proclaims good news, joy, and hope and warns for those who don't accept it.  Out of jealousy and blindness, the scribes and Pharisees attributed John's austerities to the devil and Jesus' table fellowship as evidence for pretending to be Messiah.  They closed their hearts and so frustrated God's plan for their lives.  Today is also marked by indifference and contempt.  Indifference dulls us to God's voice.  Only the humble hungry for God can find joy....
  • Universalis:  SS. Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Paul Chong Hasang, and companions, martyrs:  For centuries, Korea was closed to outside influences.  Laypeople seeking to find out about the outside world through the annual embassy to Peking found books about Christianity and were converted.  Over the next century, while the Korean church was entirely lay, over 10,000 Korean Christians were martyred; then priests came and were too.  Today 103 of the Korean martyrs are celebrated:  lay, married or not, old and young, children.  “The Korean Church was founded entirely by laypeople.  It withstood waves of persecution.  The death of its martyrs became the leaven of the Church and led to today’s flowering of the Church in Korea” (canonization homily).
Please pray for our Jewish brothers and sisters
as they begin their Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) celebration tonight.

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