Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs
Christ calls us to hear the word of God and act on it. This is also the jest of our first reading today, too, where Proverbs 21, the collection of Solomon’s wisdom, guides one to do what is right and just. That word guides and leads us as a road map to follow God’s commands (see Psalm 119 today).
When nourished from the table of God’s word, we are nurtured to our hearts being on fire to live for bringing about good and God’s justice.
Imagine today’s saint, never having met a Catholic priest but having the call from God to live this vocation and serve God’s word! Western books about Christianity and Catholicism were translated into Chinese and became known in Korea. In this context of the living the faith, by 1836, the first missionaries, members of the Parish Foreign Missions Society, arrived to find people already practicing Catholics.
With his Christian name, Andrew Kim was baptized at 15 and immediately left for seminary training in China’s Macau (at that time a Portuguese colony), becoming ordained in Shanghai nine years later. He returned to his native Korea to preach and teach, which got him into trouble and persecuted by the Joseon Dynasty. Andrew was the first Korean native Catholic priest to then be the first martyr among many companions who would total 102 shedding their blood for the faith. Andrew allowed the Lord to guide his way through his commands and call. He acted on that word!
We have it so easy, don’t we? Let us not stand outside wondering, watching, or waiting. Let’s take a moment to do something from God’s word that we act upon. Our founder, Saint Peter Julian Eymard’s line, “Tomorrow will be too late,” guides us still as we feast on God’s word and try to put it into practice.
Lord God, your wisdom guides us to feast on Your Word and sweeter than honey (see Psalm 119:103). Guide our steps always to act with prudence and live your ways until fulfilled with you at the banquet feast of heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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