Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Reflection on Pope's Visit to Korea
The two main reasons for the visit were the attendance at the Asian Youth Meeting, to encourage the young people, and the second, the beatification of 124 martyrs. The beatification went back to the past to give life to the present and future.
At the Asia Youth Meeting, the pope gave the youth hope, dreams and encouraged them to look ahead to joy, not fear, and put the wisdom of their faith in all the facets of their lives. He challenged them to be witness to Jesus, and be his disciples.
He urged the Christians to go to the peripheries to meet those who were hurting. In the sermon for the beatification, he wanted us to go back to the dawning of Christianity in Korea, and have the heart of those first Christians, and their joy. The professor stresses that the first Christians did not separate the love of God and neighbor as our society so easily does today. The pope asked all of those with good will to remember we have been called to work for a just, free and reconciling society.
In the visit to Korea, the pope was kept busy and left behind many messages for the country and the Church. He wanted the clergy to avoid clericalism; the religious to be conscious of poverty and the practice of love. He asked all the Christians to have concern for the poor, and be in solidarity with them. He encouraged all of us to have an optimistic hope for the future, and give ourselves to the works of love, justice and peace.
It may be that Korean society was hoping the pope would help solve some of their problems, but he asked us to take care of the poor, and the marginalized.
He did not come to Korea to solve problems but to commiserate and advise. He applauded those who were doing something to benefit society and left Korea with suggestions that will help us grow to a more mature Catholicism with a blueprint for the future.