Friday, April 3, 2015
Good Friday Meditation
A seminary professor in the Kyeongyang magazine gives us a meditation on the words of the the crowd to Jesus in ridicule: "Now come down from the cross and save yourself!" Pope Francis uses these words at his talk at the conclusion of the Synod as one of the temptations that we face in life. "The temptation to come down off the Cross, to please the people, and not stay there, in order to fulfill the will of the Father; to bow down to a worldly spirit of purifying it and bending it to the Spirit of God."
We are faced says the professor with this temptation when we are concerned only with the things of this world. Depending on who defines the word we will have different understandings of secularism. A secularist sees improvement of life by material means and science, and working for the good in this present life,which most Christians would agree, but there are transcendent values which materiality and science cannot give us, and we only have to look at the world that we have for the affirmation.
In the Korea of 2015, says the professor, we are losing the values and capability of religion in life. A Gallup Survey showed that since 1984 to 2014 there has been great change in the way the people see religion. In 1984 those that considered religion as important was 97 percent, in 2014 this decreased to 81 percent. Thirty years ago,the influence that religion had on society was accepted by 77 percent, in 2014 it decreased to 48 percent. This shows a big change in Korean society. The values of the holy, transcendent and the eternal have been replaced.
Children are more interested in their computer monitors than going to church.Churches are no longer the leaders in giving aid to the poor replaced with many social welfare programs. Our citizens want more improvement in the quality of life than in the past, and in many cases this does include the spiritual.
We no longer like talking about carrying the cross. When we talk about sacrifice we like to put it all aside, and follow the flow of society. When we go to church we fold our hands in prayer and talk about justice and love but in our daily life we are only interested in number one, ourselves.
The priest professor admits in conclusion that he is not free from this temptation. He sees himself seeking success and honor and is looking out for results. We are not interested in what hurts because of the good that results. "Without the pain we don't have glory without death we don't have resurrection."