Saturday, September 6, 2014

God Made Everything Good

Question number 10:  When we are like the world of politics and fight over right and wrong we are divided like society. Is it not possible to be quiet and pray?

The main reason the Church has to participate in society is that God is always participating in our world. "God looked at everything he had made, and  found it very good." (Gen. 1:31). God created the world and when we act contrary to his intentions, the righteous person  and  prophets have brought it to our attention. Finally Jesus entered our world. The work of the Church is to do what Jesus started. God doesn't work only within the Church but through the Church in society at large. We need to talk in a healthy way about the problems we face. We are not believers only for ourselves, but called to give the light of the Gospel and make known the will of God to the whole world.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the explanation of the Lord's Prayer # 2820 we read: "Man's vocation to eternal life does not suppress, but actually reinforces, his duty to put into action in this world the energies and means received from the Creator to serve justice and peace." When the world is distancing itself from the Gospel message and  we are only concerned about our salvation and turn our back to the problems of society, we do not have the correct understanding of our faith. It is not what God desires.

There are two understandings of the the word world: " God so loved the world that he sent his only son" (John 3:16). The other is from John 1:10. "He was in the world  and through him the world was made, yet the world did not know who he was. " The world is the same but depending on our attitude we see it differently. When we see it with the eyes of the first meaning we see the world as God's masterpiece, and work to cultivate what God intended. When we are ignored and persecuted we continue to work to make the beauty of God's creation known.

In the early years of the Church and when it was introduced into Korea we had the stress on idols, fear of change, and opposition to equality on the part of those in power that brought persecution.These early Christians were not afraid of the conflict between their religion and the world, but stood up straight in the public square. We are the descendants of the martyrs and we want to be loved by the immoral world. We are told by Jesus to be prepared for persecution but we relegate this to the past.  

A segment of the mass media reports that Catholics are leaving because of the  participation of the Church in political issues. Rather the participation from the 1970 to 1980 saw a  great increase in the numbers entering the Church. There are also many who today are attracted by the  interest the Church has shown in society and are entering the Church. The Church is not participating in society to increase their numbers. However, there are many who are moved by this and become Catholic.  The Church needs to stay in the center of our society and  make clear the message of Jesus and to speak out about injustices and corruption. Speaking out about  justice and fairness is the Church's original duty. 

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