The Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tægon, Paul Chong Hasang and Companions
By REV. FR. SAMUEL FREDERICK
Prov. 21:1-6.10-13, Lk. 8:19-21. Being aware of the difficulty in changing the desire of those in authority and the hardness of human heart, the author of today's first reading established how such difficult and harden heart of man is but "a stream of water in the hands of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will," to show the supremacy of the will of God. To do the will of God, we must be open to all who are sincere, virtuous, obedient and responsive to life: "Every way of a man is good in his own eye, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice." Today, we are challenged to be open, honest, reflective, humble, strong, use our foresight to avoid dangers and show goodwill to our neighbours. We are invited to keep a healthy openness to the word of God and review the quality of our relationships with others. In today's Gospel, Jesus refers to our relationship with God in His enigmatic reply to His Mother Mary and brothers. Jesus identifies those who hear the word of God and put it into practice as those who belong to the Divine family. In spite of His unique status and relationship with God, Jesus makes us members of His family by doing the Father's will.
The essence of our baptismal promises is to hear the word of God and live by it. Like Jesus who focus His attention on doing the will of God, we are enjoined to sincerely open up to the word of God, so that it can shape our life and work. The word of God shaped the lives of saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and Companions, to the extent of giving off their lives for their faith in the region of Korea. At that time, the state and the government of Korea was highly hostile and suspicious of Christian missionaries and the Christian faith, considering them as unwanted foreign influences that could potentially bring harm to the state. To that extent, the state carried out intense official persecution like the great persecution of Roman Empire in the early Church. The Christian missionaries had to operate in secret, in fear of repercussions from the officials and the authorities and many of the Christian faithful, the missionaries and converts alike suffered because of their persistence and perseverance in remaining true to their faith in God despite the oppressions.
May the Lord pour out His love on us and open our hearts to do the will of God! Amen!! Good morning and have a pleasant day!!!