Father Andrew Kim, Korea's patron saint, was only twenty-six when the was behaved for practicing a foreign religion in the Hermit Kingdom.

Wednesday, 9/20/17

Today we honor St. Andrew Kim, a young Korean priest who at twenty-six was beheaded for practicing a foreign religion in the Hermit Kingdom.

He was fifteen when his father was beheaded for his Faith. Andrew slipped away then, taking up  priestly training in Shanghai. Ordained a priest, he returned to Korea when he was twenty-four. Two years later, when he was about to be beheaded, he said, "My real life is about to begin." He had been so loved, that many other Koreans wanted to be buried at his side.

In 1944, when people for filming  the life of St. Andrew, they wanted to show Andrew's slipping back into Korea on a deserted shore. They had a young Catholic from our neighboring parish play the part of Andrew; and my close friend, Father Jack Lynch was bearded ro play the part of a French bishop sneaking into the country with Andrew. I, with a beard too, played a French priest who joined the two of them fighting high waves coming ashore.

I have a memory of Father Lynch, hanging on to the little fishing boat's mast, moaning, "By-jeepers, Sully, I can't swim."

There is confusion when we translate the GreeK into English.

Tuesday, 9/19/17

In our First Reading Paul advised Timothy to appoint a bishop for each Christian community. The bishop had to be married only once, and he must keep his children under control.

Perhaps he was not writing about bishops as we know them. The title that our English Bible translate as "bishop" was the Greek epi-scope, that literally means "over seer." So, perhaps Paul just advised Timothy that he should select a responsible married man to over see each group.

There is similar confusion with what we call our priests. Webster's tells us that our word "priest" is a contraction of the Greek word  presbteros. And yet when that word appears in "The Acts of the Apostles" our "Catholic Bibles lave it as presbyters, and the Protestant Bibles call it "elders."

When early Catholic writings give full descriptions of the Mass they do not refer to "priests" at the altar; rather they call them "the one presiding" or the "president."

Curiously, the word presbyter, or "pres byt" referred to a "lead ox." According to that, a priest should be out in front, pulling the load. He shouldn't be up in the chariot, cracking the whip.   

I had a Mass for a Burmese man who died after losing his only daughter in a flood in Burma.

Monday, 9/18/17

This evenig I am too weary to work up a proper homily for tomorrow. We had a crowd of people at my Nusing Hpme Mass. Then, after that, I went to say Mass at the home of some Burmise ,people. They were mourning the death of a forty-five-year old man back in Burma.

The man, Yo-Am, died from sorrow after losing his only daughter in a flood. Like me, he had four sisters. They are living here, and they wanted this funeral Mass for their brother.

We can both avoid wrath and be forgiving if we presume that there is a good motif underlying someone's objectionable behavior.

Sunday, 9/17/17

Today's reading from he Scriptures urge us both to avoid wrath and to be forgiving, One shortcut for obtaining both objectives is for us to practice Understanding.

Chapter Eleven of the prophesies of Isaiah lists Understanding as one of the attributes that would characterize the Messiah. Let me quote that passage.

"The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a sprit of Wisdom, and Understanding; a spirit of  Counsel and Fortitude; a spirit of Knowledge and of Fear of the Lord."

Our English word Understanding actually defines itself. To be understanding we must recognize what is Standing Under anyone's questionable behavior.

Standing under a woman's wearing a ridiculous dress is her conviction that she looks pleasing.

Standing under a so-called friend's critical remarks is the conviction that he is pointing out a fault you would be happy to be rid of.

Although that often does not seems to be the case, it is basic psycological fact that people always acts to accomplish what at the moment seems good to them.

To be understanding we need to see that there is a good motif standing under another's objectionable behavior.

St. Cyprian had a curious relationship Peter's successor in Rome..

Saturday, 9/16/17

Today we honor St. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, who, in the persecution of Decius, was beheaded in 255 A,D..

Cyprian was a noted scholar and land owner before his conversion to Christianity. Cyprian wrote volumes on many subjects, but he seemed to have contrary views in regard to the relationship of local bishops to the successors of Peter in Rome.
On one side of the issue, he felt that Jesus had given to all the Apostles and their successors the same powers he gave to Peter.

With that in mind, he objected to the pope reserving to himself the right to name local bishops. But in deference to Rome, he taught that individual bishops and their dioceses could only remain Christian if they stayed in union with God.

On his refusing to offer sacrifices to the Roman gods, Cyprian was ordered to be beheaded. Out of love for Cyprian, the people of Carthage wanted to be beheaded with him. Cyprian, after quieting then, offered a handful of gold coins to his executioner.