Friday, December 28, 2012

Christians' Love for Society

Liturgically, we have greeted again the baby Jesus with joy and praise as we come to the end of an eventful 2012. The Catholic Times' editorial reminds us that at this time of year we tend to look back on the passing year with regret, and forward to the new year with some trepidation.

Our present society is facing unprecedented changes and difficulties. The economic problems now being faced by Korea rank second only to the conditions that required the IMF bailout; the country is suffering the pains of  a stagnant economy. There is generational and class discord, which makes us lose our societal balance; the efforts of our citizens working for a good and human society end up dispersed and diffused.

How is it with our Christians? How much of our trusting in the Gospels accompanies us as we go about our daily tasks? Not much, it's safe to say. For this reason the Pope, with concern for Christians who in these troubled times are disturbed in their faith life, has given us this Year of Faith.

The Year of Faith may be directed mainly for the struggling Christianity of the West, despite its rich and deep-rooted heritage, but we also see the signs of this weakness in faith life in Korea. If we do not attempt to fight against this drift in society, these same problems will come to us shortly.

We can't deny that within  Catholicism in Korea, there is  the attachment to an individualized and personal religious life: a desire  to hold firmly  to one's spirituality, live morally, and  seek salvation.

However, the Church teaches that the true Christian is to go beyond the self, relate to the community and society, and desire the salvation of the world. We should have a desire to see the world changed to the values we have received from Christ and be involved in the attainment of this goal by our participation. The editorial ends by asking us to reflect on what does it mean for us to say we are true disciples of Christ.

For a Christian, this desire to see the teachings of Christ accepted is not a desire to be on the winning side or push a  certain opinion, but it is a  matter of love for the world and our brothers and sisters. Christians believe that this is the way to  find happiness in life.We see the many problems that we have in society. Big and small conflicts, suicides, horrible crimes, mental  and  physical difficulties, frustrations, loss of hope and not knowing why we are here in the first place. Christians should feel we have some of the answers to these problems. And as Pope John Paul II said it is not a desire to  impose these values but  proposing them. This requires, first of all, that we as Christians truly believe we have the remedies for the many ills afflicting society.