The Desk Columnist in the Korean Times believes Pope Francis' exhortation 'The Joy of the Gospel' will be a means of renewal for the whole Church. She mentions Pope Francis called together the heads of the Church offices in the Vatican to discuss how to integrate their work with the exhortation. This is what the Bishops' Conference of Korea has done during their spring bishops' meeting.
The bishops want it to be
more than just an exhortation but to have a change in the way the
Church functions. They recommended meetings to study the exhortation in
all the dioceses and find ways to implement the teaching in our works.
In Korea signs of interest were seen in the number of copies of the exhortation sold.
The way the mass media reported on the exhortation did help. After two
weeks, they have sold over 20,000. Usually in the past with the
printing of Roman documents they sell between 3 and 4,000, so there has
been much interest in 'The Joy of the Gospel'.
is the reason for this kind of response in Korea? The answer given by
many, she says, is a style of writing different from the past. The
exhortation is appealing to read, with an easy presentation of ideas,
but also she says, the feeling many have of living in difficult times.
Materialism, egotism, worldliness is rampant; the exhortation helps us
to face this reality with a faith filled understanding, which is
attractive. The appeal comes also from the concrete ways we are called
to be missioners in this world environment.
pope, more than anything else stresses how we are to be a poor church. A
sign of a renewed Church is the concern and love for the poor and the
promotion of peace. After the end of the Year of Faith, we have the
directions given to us by the pope on how to be a poor Church.
This August we will have
the visit of the pope and the beatification of 124 of our martyrs. There
is the hope that the whole Korean Church will be energized and gain a
new hope for maturity and renewal. At this point in time, to find
happiness we are urged to look at the poor, share joy with others,
show the beauty of this view to others, and invite others to the banquet
of joy to which we have been called. This is the vocation that we have
been given in the exhortation.
Our ancestors in the
faith in order to follow the commands of God suffered all kinds of
difficulties, but were not delinquent in their carrying out the command
to love. They had the hope of the resurrected life that Jesus showed
We are celebrating the
Feast of Easter. At this time, we meditate on the happiness that the
Easter message gives us, and remember what is necessary to receive this
joy. Decisions necessary should be self-evident.
A Happy Easter to all.