Greetings on this the Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs
Readings: PRV 21:1-6, 10-13; PS 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44; LK 8:19-21
Notes: Religious freedom came to Korea in 1883. Before that Catholicism and other religions foreign to the Korean experience were brutally oppressed. Buddhism was the state ideology under the Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392) but was harshly suppressed under the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).
It is wise to not create a theocracy in the USA or the proxy of such which is a functional equal to a theocracy. Who you think you are electing may not be what you are electing. Freedom to (free exercise) and Freedom from (establishment of a religion) are a balancing act like so many other things in life.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
We marvel at the fact that the Korean Church was strictly a lay Church for a dozen years after its birth. How did the people survive without the Eucharist? It is no belittling of this and other sacraments to realize that there must be a living faith before there can be a truly beneficial celebration of the Eucharist. The sacraments are signs of God’s initiative and response to faith already present. The sacraments increase grace and faith, but only if there is something ready to be increased.
How little we understand. The first reading says it plainly.
The gospel portion goes deeper.
The WHO AM I is answered by WHAT DO I DO.
The WHO ARE YOU TO ME is answered by WHAT DO YOU DO TO PEOPLE.
My mother and brothers are those who do the will of the Father.
All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes, but it is the LORD who proves hearts.
Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Give me discernment, that I may observe your law and keep it with all my heart.
Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.
He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”
Peace be with you,