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Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs

Tuesday, September 19, 2017



1 Tm 3:14-16; Ps 111:1-6; Lk 7:31-35
“How great are the works of the LORD!”


Saint Andrew Kim and all the martyrs of Korea give witness to the great works of the Lord. The seed of these faithful witnesses has given birth to a great crowd of witnesses throughout Korea and in the whole world. These uniquely gifted saints found their only comfort in prayer, and he lived his life in total dedication to the gift of the gospel. These saints continue to summon us to holiness so that we too might be blessed only because the Kingdom of heaven is ours.

The company and assembly of the just are gathered here and we give thanks to the Lord will all of our hearts. Together we proclaim the exquisite delights of the great works of the Lord Our God. Indeed, the Lord God has won renown for his wondrous deeds of mercy and justice. For he has given food to those who fear the Lord and He is constantly mindful of his covenant. The Lord God has made known to his own people his saving love and giving to them the inheritance of the nations. We who live in the household of God, as Saint Paul proclaims, are the Church of the living God. In this Church we hear the good news proclaimed each day. The good news of the wisdom of God becoming flesh to dwell among us is vindicated by all the children of God. This is our constant calling, and it is here we are renewed in our identity and strengthened to witness to the truth that we have heard and that empowers our life.

Saint Timothy hears from his beloved father in Christ, Saint Paul about an eminent but delayed visit. Whether or not Saint Paul comes quickly to visit his disciple, he and his church know how to live as a pillar and foundation of truth. Like the pillar of fire by night and the pillar of cloud by day the Church guides those on the way to freedom from the slavery of sin and falsehood. Like the foundation of solid rock upon which the wise builder can construct a safe dwelling the Church welcomes everyone to build wisely on the solid rock that is Christ. Saint Paul preaches, “Undeniably great is the mystery of devotion…” Indeed our greatness as a church is that we are devoted to the One who was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed to the Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, and taken up in glory, the Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true man. Our great devotion to Christ and to his mystery is not well received even among the people of this generation. Many find the Truth of Christ to be too narrow and too exclusive. We are the ones who are called by faith to make known the truth that Christ welcomes everyone of every time and place. Indeed, Christ is the friend of sinners. Perhaps that is the problem. Few among our generation admit the reality of sin. So how can anyone be a sinner? How could we need a savior? From what do we need to be saved?

During the ministry of John the Baptist and the ministry of Christ Our Savior there were many for whom it was said, “We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.” The children of every generation are caught up in the same dilemma. They can always find a good reason to doubt the revelation of God in his prophets and in his Son. John the Baptist is too severe not eating food nor drinking wine; so he is condemned with the judgment, “He is possessed by a demon.” The Lord Jesus came both eating and drinking; so he is condemned with the judgment, “Look he is a glutton and a drunkard…” However, the most telling condemnation is that this merciful savior is a friend of the friends of the oppressor, Rome, and he loves to love the sinners even while he hates sin. Such is the wisdom that shapes our lifestyle and our witness. We, too, will be condemned in every generation, “But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.” In every generation there will be those who are wise enough to receive the severe mercy of the cross and learn how to behave in the household of God.

 

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