Sunday, April 12, 2015

Divine Mercy Sunday

Today is Mercy Sunday and throughout the Catholic World a time to reflect on how merciful we have been to others and how open we have been in receiving God's mercy in the confessional. Pope Francis has proclaimed a Holy Year of Mercy starting on Dec. 8 of this year. A  time to experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instils hope.

In the archives of the Pastoral Bulletin from last year there  is a lesson on how mercy was shown by two men, Mr. Kim and Mr. Park, who were contemplating suicide, and whose friendship changed their lives. The story of their friendship and change in life did make the international news a few years ago.

Mr. Kim gave surety for a friend  and was left with a debt of over 300.000 dollars. Mr. Park  lost his wife in a traffic accident, and was being sued for wrong doing, and during the litigation became depressed and decided to end it all. They both found their way to the Han River bridge. The police were called and they were helped to change their minds and  promised to give life another chance.

The police mentioned how the two of them left the bridge and ended up going for a drink at a  nearby pub, and became close friends-- both in their late 30s. That night each decided to buy 10 lottery tickets  and if they won they would split the money. They came in second and won over 300,000 dollars. Mr. Kim had the winning  ticket but both men had a naturally kind nature, and each wanted to give the money to the other.

They exchanged letters and briefly: Mr. Park wrote  he had a job, and could  take care of his family but Mr. Kim had a debt of over 300 thousand dollars and that was the reason he was thinking of suicide. Mr. Kim, however, said because of the death of Mr. Park's wife, the family was without a mother and the litigation made his situation more serious. They went back-and-forth  trying to give the money to the other. 

One night Mr. Kim, having too much to drink went to the house of Mr. Park, or so he  thought, and put a letter in his mail box with the winning  ticket.  Mrs. Zin, however, was the owner of the house, and seeing the ticket and money, notified a newspaper, where it was reported and became internet news. 

A bank hearing the story of the two  men, offered to give a similar sum of money that they won in the lottery to Mr. Kim, to take care of his debt,  and  pay for the best lawyers in the country to help Mr. Park in his litigation, and solve his problems with the law.

The article concludes with the words of a leader in  society who recalled how winning the lottery has broken up families, and in this case how  each was only concerned for the other, brought tears to his eyes. There is still a lot to be grateful for in society."A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just." Pope Francis

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