Seoul (Agenzia Fides) - "There are still many people in Korean society who do not know Jesus or understand his will. We must proclaim the Word of Jesus Christ and do our best to allow His will and His love to permeate every corner of our society". This is the exhortation addressed to all the Korean faithful by the Bishops’ Conference of Korea on the occasion of the "Extraordinary Missionary Month", announced by Pope Francis for October 2019, to celebrate the centenary of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud of Pope Benedict XV.
In a message signed by Fr. Thomas Aquinas Kim Joon Chul, Secretary General of the Bishops’ Conference of Korea and sent to Agenzia Fides, the Korean Church is in harmony with the Holy Father: "Pope invited the whole Church to express his missionary spirit and his zeal. In preparation for the Extraordinary Missionary Month - we read - the Catholic Church in Korea strives to renew the awareness and missionary commitment of all believers".
The text recalls that, as Pope Francis said in his message for World Mission Day 2019, "every Christian is a missionary: As far as God’s love is concerned, no one is useless or insignificant. Each of us is a mission to the world, for each of us is the fruit of God’s love".
The note of the Korean episcopate continues: "Our reason for proclaiming the Gospel is to carry out the dream of Jesus so that all peoples live in the Kingdom of God, full of love, peace and hope. The Kingdom of God that Jesus wanted was not simply a place where men can go after death. In reality, the Kingdom of God is already present, even if not yet fully realized, in our daily life. The Kingdom of God is among you", says the Gospel of Luke (Lk 17:21). The Kingdom of God, which Jesus preached, is a society in which the justice, peace and love of God prevail and guide all things in the world, therefore, authentic missionary activity is communicating the will of our Lord to all peoples and bringing them to the fullness of his love, peace and justice".
"Today, as Korean society becomes more chaotic – highlights the text sent to Fides - Christian values, more than ever, must be communicated. We Korean Catholics must guide Korean people towards a profound interior conversion in the name of the Gospel "If we do not practice love, peace and justice for the good of society, our faith will have no meaning".
The Bishops recognize that "Korean Catholics have made an important contribution to the democratization of Korean society and the promotion of human rights. However, this is not the time for us to be self-satisfied: rather we should be fighting for spiritual growth". "Just as Jesus showed his preferential love for the poor, the marginalized and the rejected of society - the note concludes - we too will have to bring his love to all corners of society, showing attention towards the most vulnerable. Through missionary societies, the words of Jesus will spread to the ends of the earth". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 3/10/2019)