Friday, August 31, 2012

The Eucharist not a 'Hot Button' for Many

The Korean language has a word that signifies a person's 'hot button' and when touched an angry response is sure to follow. This hot button should have been set off by Catholics when they heard of the recent incident in Jejudo.

The incident occurred at a Mass celebrated outside the construction site of the controversial naval base.  Many inhabitants of Jejudo do not want to see the island militarized, increasing, as they believe, the possibility of war, as well as not wanting the beauty of the island  destroyed.  Riot police dispersed those at the Mass, and some of the hosts fell to the ground; a policeman was seen stepping on the Eucharist.

The news of the  incident, by way of the social network system, was carried throughout the country and made front page news in the Catholic Times. The journalist, a young Catholic himself, found it difficult to understand the indifference of the Catholics regarding the incident, especially on the part of the young, and expressed his surprise at the lack of an appropriate response.   

He concedes that we are all entitled to our opinions and that we need to respect the rights of all to express themselves. Some commentators on the incident would like to know why Mass was being held in such a location in the first place, where there was a greater possibility for the disturbance to happen. Others do not think what happened was any big deal. To those who side with the first observation, the columnist would answer by reminding them of the central place of the Mass in the faith life of Catholics. In answering the second observation, he would question whether they fully understand what is involved when they receive the Eucharist.

The journalist ends his article by noting that for Catholics the preciousness of the Eucharist is our hot button. When we remain silent on this issue, he wonders what others are going to think, knowing that non-Catholics see the Eucharist only as a wafer. To make sure this kind of incident is not repeated, he suggests that we speak out whenever such incidents occur, not only because of the nature of the offense, but for our own spiritual health as well.