Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Seoul Archbishop Christmas Message

Archbishop of Seoul: Living Christmas every day, to fight the ills of society

Bishop Andrew Yeom Soo- jung invites the faithful to pray "for the marginalized, the poor, the sick and our North Korean brethren". And remember the importance of fighting "the darkness of a world affected by materialism, atheism, suicides and divorces" with the light of salvation of the new born Christ.
Seoul (AsiaNews ) -. Below is the full text of his message. 

My dearest brothers and sisters!
Baby Jesus is born today, bringing the light of salvation into this dark world. May God's abundant blessings be upon you and your families on this joyful Christmas Day. We also pray for the marginalized, the poor, the sick, and for our North Korean brothers; may the blessings of Christmas fill their hearts with hope and joy.

The Lord sent his only Son into the world, and revealed his infinite love to us. 2000 years ago, Jesus was born in a small Judean village called Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph traveled all the way from Nazareth. They went from inn to inn, but couldn't find an empty room to stay. Eventually, they sought shelter in a shabby stable where Mary gave birth, and she laid the baby Jesus in a manger surrounded by oxen and donkeys. That was how Jesus came to this world-in the most poor and humble way. It brings the important message that God dwells among the weak and the poor, and that he has called us out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).

Today, however, atheism and materialism flourish as an integral part of our society. Conflicts and divisions are everywhere. People have forgotten the importance of communication and compromise, while selfishly pursuing their own wishes. Suicide rates and divorce rates rise sharply; families are suffering from all kinds of difficulties and pain. Students are overwhelmed by immense competitions and exams. Graduates face tougher challenges to find employment. And then, there are the people who have been forgotten by the most of us: the homeless, the disabled, the foreign labors, and the poor. They live in pain and anxiety, in a life without human dignity.

Jesus has come as light into this dark, suffocating world. He did not come in the form of God, but in the poorest and the most humble form of a human being. What kind of significant meaning does this has on our times? Perhaps we should not depend only on humane and secular means to solve the problems around the world; for the solution lies in the Christmas mystery of God becoming man and suffering all pains with us. When we humbly empathy and respect others like the Lord being in the middle of men, we are one step closer to a harmonious society.

The social responsibility of the Church is also an important matter. If the Church has external development and social influence, but does not have internal love, the Church is nothing. Pope Francis wrote in his Apostolic Exhortation, "I want a Church which is poor and for the poor." The Holy Father explained that as long as the problems of the poor are not radically, no solution will be found for the world's any problems. If we turn our backs on the poor and try to make ourselves believe that the problems are solved, we may face the real crisis of collapse. Therefore, "the need to resolve the structural causes of poverty cannot be delayed." We really need to contemplate on these words.

We need to show the love of God to those in need-not only by words, but by real actions. We need to show the light of salvation to this dark world. The true meaning of Christmas is not only to be remembered, but to be lived out through our daily life. Because Baby Jesus is born in every place where people love, share, serve, and forgive.

Through Jesus Christ who is born on this joyful Christmas Day, I pray that we all receive the strength from the God and that we all become the children of the light which brightens the darkness of the world.
May the light of life, God's blessings and peace be upon all of you.
Merry Christmas!!

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