Tuesday, December 23, 2014

His First Christmas

The columnist in the Peace Weekly recalls an incident that happened back in the 80s. Unexpectedly a friend asked if  he was interested in going to the home of a student for a meat meal. They walked along a back street for some time before they came to a small room where he prepared the table with pork belly slices.

They were both college students and teaching  in an  evening school for workers. Many of these  types of schools at that  time were located in Seoul. This particular school was managed by the Church. He himself was a half baked materialist but it made no difference in being hired.

His friend bought the meat with his savings, and they had plenty to fill their stomachs. On the way back he asked his friend what was the occasion for the party. The friend said the student had TB and with the medicine, he needed some good protein to help in his recovery. What his friend  said left him flabbergasted. His friend would go once a week to the room of the student to prepare a meat meal. They were both the same age;  he respected his friend but what his  friend was doing impressed him greatly and he wondered what enabled him to be so altruistic.

He leaned later on his friend was thinking of the priesthood. Wanting to be a priest was all strange to the  columnist but  it gave him an answer for his question. He became curious in what motivated his friend. At that time the Church was speaking out about justice issues in society. He later became a Catholic and his friend went on to become a priest.

No one with words  lead him to the Church, he said,  it was the example of his friend that  aroused his  interest. At that  time he went to his first Mass at Christmas. Later, with his camera, for twenty years he has taken pictures of places  were Jesus was being experienced by many believers. He became director of the TV work and has not always been pleased with what he has seen, his weak faith has hit bottom and he has returned. Often in the darkness all around, he cries out: "Where in the world  are you?"  And yet he fortunately has  been able to return to the time with his friend and his Christmas Mass. At that time he left his atheism and because of his friend saw another way and he returns to the warmth he experienced there like returning to the homestead.

The disciples of Jesus after the trauma of the crucifixion and resurrection wanted to return to their first days with Jesus in Galilee. This was the land of their first Christmas and they remembered the warmth of those days. He will be trying to do this  during these days of Christmas with programs  prepared for the Christmas season for the Peace Catholic Television Channel. 

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