20th September 2021
Gospel: Luke 8:16-18
Memorial of Saint Andrew Kim Tae-Gon and Paul Chong Ha-Hang, and Companions, Martyrs
BEING LIGHT OF GOD IN THE WORLD
Today’s readings highlight the necessity of being light in the world, in the society and, in the environment, we are in. The first reading from the book of Ezra narrates the stand which the people and the King took after the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem; the King accepted the command from God, through prophet Jeremiah, and proclaimed to the whole kingdom that the Temple of the Lord should be rebuilt and everyone should give his contribution.
Although the king had in his control many kingdoms and had power over people, he never forgot the Lord, he was aware that the Lord gave him all the kingdoms and could not turn back against the Lord, he showed a great example that Lord should be his guide to rule the peoples; although he was a very prominent king, he always was humble enough to ask the light from God to rule his kingdom with wisdom from God.
What is our attitude when we are successful and prominent in life? Do we still need God or we become self-sufficient; do we reflect the light of God or do we want the world to see our own light which comes from our pride and success. Are we humble enough to remember that is God who is the reason for my success, or do we become the center of our achievements?
Jesus in the Gospel talks about the need of making manifest the gifts we receive from God and through them we manifest the power of God. No one can shine the light of God if he/she is away from God. We lose the light when we put ourselves as the reason for all our success and we are not able to recognize the presence of God because we are have become self-sufficient, contrary to what King Cyrus did in his kingdom. The result of building a temple to God in our hearts is that we shall be given more because we have placed our light on a stand and we can enlighten the world not with our effort but with God’s power which is manifested in us.
We remember today Saint Andrew Kim Tae-Gon and Paul Chong Ha-Hang, and Companions, they were a group of 103 Martyrs from Korea, among them priests, bishops and laypeople, some catechists, were all persecuted and killed because they manifested the light of Christ before the kings and accepted to die for the sake of their faith and their light enlightening the Church up to today and God has given them eternal life as a reward for keeping the light of faith always on in their lives.
May they pray for us before God so that we may also be able to witness the light of Christ amid persecutions and injustices.