Today we celebrate Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, the so-called Korean Martyrs. Fr. Andrew was the first native Korean priest. All of these men brought the Church to Korea. They paid a price. But, when they met Jesus, they turned the world upside down. In our Gospel today, we see the opposite: we see people who, upon meeting Jesus, are indifferent. Jesus says their indifference is like when someone plays a flute and no one dances, or when someone sings a dirge and no one weeps. So much indifference. I wonder if the Korean martyrs were born here in Shelbyville, about 50 years ago. What might they have done with this whole place? What might they be doing.
Today St. Paul tells us what makes for a good bishop. One of the things he says is that Robbie a bishop you can’t be a recent convert. In other words, your following of God must be proven. It should stand the test of time. Why? To lead well, we must follow well. When we follow we’ll, we lead well. And we are all called to lead folks to God.
“Beloved: First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,
for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.” So goes our second reading. That kind of life sounds nice.
“Patience smooths away lots of difficulties.” – St. John Bosco
Today is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Here are Mary’s 7 sorrows:
1. The Prophecy of Simeon. (Luke 2:34-35) or the Circumcision of Christ
2. The Flight into Egypt. (Matthew 2:13)
3. The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple. (Luke 2:43-45)
4. Mary Meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary. (Luke 23:26)
5. Jesus Dies on the Cross. (John 19:25)
6. Mary Receives the Body of Jesus in Her Arms. (Matthew 27:57-59)
7. The Body of Jesus is Placed in the Tomb. (John 19:40-42)
Today we celebrate the cross. “What a great work of charity! Death itself died when life was slain on the tree.”
Today, on the feast of St John Chrysostom, we have this beautiful reading in our Office of Readings, an excerpt from one of his sermons:
The waters have risen and severe storms are upon us, but we do not fear drowning, for we stand firmly upon a rock. Let the sea rage, it cannot break the rock. Let the waves rise, they cannot sink the boat of Jesus. What are we to fear? Death? Life to me means Christ, and death is gain. Exile? The earth and its fullness belong to the Lord. The confiscation of goods? We brought nothing into this world, and we shall surely take nothing from it. I have only contempt for the world’s threats, I find its blessings laughable. I have no fear of poverty, no desire for wealth. I am not afraid of death nor do I long to live, except for your good. I concentrate therefore on the present situation, and I urge you, my friends, to have confidence.
Do you not hear the Lord saying: Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst? Will he be absent, then, when so many people united in love are gathered together? I have his promise; I am surely not going to rely on my own strength! I have what he has written; that is my staff, my security, my peaceful harbor. Let the world be in upheaval. I hold to his promise and read his message; that is my protecting wall and garrison. What message? Know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!
If Christ is with me, whom shall I fear? Though the waves and the sea and the anger of princes are roused against me, they are less to me than a spider’s web. Indeed, unless you, my brothers, had detained me, I would have left this very day. For I always say Lord, your will be done; not what this fellow or that would have me do, but what you want me to do. That is my strong tower, my immovable rock, my staff that never gives way. If God wants something, let it be done! If he wants me to stay here, I am grateful. But wherever he wants me to be, I am no less grateful.
Yet where I am, there you are too, and where you are, I am. For we are a single body, and the body cannot be separated from the head nor the head from the body. Distance separates us, but love unites us, and death itself cannot divide us. For though my body die, my soul will live and be mindful of my people.
You are my fellow citizens, my fathers, my brothers, my sons, my limbs, my body. You are my light, sweeter to me than the visible light. For what can the rays of the sun bestow on me that is comparable to your love? The sun’s light is useful in my earthly life, but your love is fashioning a crown for me in the life to come.