People often take second place to material goods and money, this was the tragedy of the Sewol Ferry: a disaster that speaks of this upside down thinking. A professor emeritus in the humanities gives us his thoughts on the subject in an article in the Kyeongyang magazine.
was a passenger ferry that was carrying 476 passengers most of them
students on a field trip to Jejudo. It sank on April 16, 2014, and only
172 passengers were rescued. Nine were never found.
scars surrounding the sinking are not healed but we have citizens who
see the tragedy as just another accident. Some considered the whole incident
overblown; the bodies of the dead used to preach; some even made fun of
the families of the victim who were fasting as just performers; one
politician thought that three years of grieving was enough. Many tried
to stop the investigation of the causes of the disaster which eventually
This Easter was the 3rd anniversary of
the disaster. It was at that time that the Sewol was raised from its
place on the ocean floor and brought to port. Everybody calls out for
truth and justice but it's not rare that when it affects the person's
interests all is forgotten.
When Pope Francis came
to Korea three years ago some didn't want the pope to meet
the families of the victims, and did all they could to prevent the
meeting; some of these were Catholics. Supposedly they didn't want
the pope to take sides.When it is to their advantage some
readily cry: religion needs to be neutral.
the pope has made it clear that when faced with pain neutrality is not
the position of a Christian. He made it a point of being with the families of the victims and wore the yellow ribbon.
justice and truth are under attack silence is not an option. Preferring
material things over people we are less human: society becomes
hell. The young people in Korea use the phrase 'Hell Joseon' comparing
the country to the feudal kingdom under the Joseon dynasty where you
lived in the situation in which you were born.
us have to do what we can to overcome the hellish aspects of society.This
is the calling we have as Christians from the Gospel and the
Resurrection. The Sewol, now raised and in port, reminds us of our
dullness, arrogance and hypocrisy. We need to speak loudly of what we
have learned and never sacrifice people for things.