Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Taegon & Comp., Mm (20th September, 2016) on the Gospel and the Memorial
Prov 21:1-6.10-13;Ps 118:126.96.36.199-35.44. (R. v.35);
The evangelization of Korea began during the 17th century through a group of lay persons. A strong vital Christian community flourished there under lay leadership until missionaries arrived from the Paris Foreign Mission Society. During the terrible persecutions that occurred between 1839 and 1867, one hundred and three members of the Christian community gave their lives as martyrs. They include a few bishops and priests, but for the most part lay people. Outstanding among these witnesses to the faith were the first Korean priest and pastor, Andrew Kim Taegon, and the lay apostle, Paul Chong Hasang. Pope Saint John Paul II, during his trip to Korea, canonized these martyrs on May 6, 1984.
Topic: Proof of worth.
When Jesus was told in today’s gospel that His mother and brothers were looking for Him, He replied, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” There is need to examine the things that we count on to pave the way for us to heaven.
People count on different things that include the church, status in the church, and so many much more. Jesus warns, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 7:21a).
He gave us the prerequisite of being His disciple, “If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (Lk 14:26; cf. Lk 14:27,33). Although many see this as too old to be applicable today, we are yet to receive another that either contradict or correct this.
The Korean martyrs we celebrate today understood Christ’s demand well. They had the opportunity to save their lives. Andrew Kim Taegon lost his father, Ignatius Kim to martyrdom in 1839. He was ordained in 1844 and was martyred in 1846. Again, one of the martyrs, Protase Chong, apostatized under torture and was freed. However, later he came back, confessed his faith and was tortured to death.
They are in heaven neither because they were Christians nor because they were Catholics. It is because they remained in Christ’s words, cf. Jn 8:31. The only way to proof our worth is doing the will of our Father who is in heaven, cf. Matt 7:21b. Whoever hopes in any other is deceiving him/herself.
Bible Reading: Matt 7:21-27.
Thought for today: Doing God’s will is the key.
Let us pray: God, we need your help to do your will here on earth – Amen.
Saints Andrew Kim Taegon & Companions – Pray for us.
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