Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pope's Homework for Korea

At the conclusion of Pope Francis' trip to Korea, the Korean Catholic Community has begun reflecting on his message. Editorials, articles in the Catholic press, lectures and sermons convey to us  areas for future effort and hope.The Peace Weekly editorial expresses well the divisions, conflicts, indifference, selfishness, compromises, and values that need to be replaced with justice, peace, and unity.

Pope Francis was the center for this hope in his visit to Korea. His actions were humble and friendly, absence of walls, but not frivolous. His words were both  soft and strong; they matched his actions. From the beginning to the end, he was a  pastor and  yet moved people without overt religion,

He came to Korea and the Church with a very clear message. In every one of the places he stopped: at the airport, the Blue House, with the Asian youth, the beatification ceremony, meeting the Asian Bishops, the Flower Village, the Mass of Reconciliation, with each encounter, there was a united message where the words matched the actions.

He came with a gift. We have a blueprint with which to work with in the future. The Church needs to understand  what to do, and work to realize and implement the pope's message. The Peace Weekly will work, it says in the editorial, to make the pope's message known to the readers in the years to come.

The editorial wants us to understand the message he  left us in his  five days in Korea. There was a unity in all that was done. From the time of his arrival to the time of departure, the message was the same. He met the families of those who died  in the Sewol tragedy. On the plane back to Rome he said we can't be neutral in the face of suffering. When we don't face truthfulness and authenticity and fail to  empathize, we refuse to see. Pope Francis listened to the hurts of those he met and was moved.

We need to learn from humility. Simplicity and  spirit of poverty are closely related to this humility. They have moved  us as a community of faith. In a word, we need to be Christians. The pope was welcomed by many not as a celebrity or a politician, and he did not behave as such. He was a sinner and a follower of Jesus. He did not talk about himself but about  Jesus. He has left Korea, but the message remains, the future work of the community.

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