Jesus and his disciples were preparing to leave for a long journey. As Jesus tightened the strap of one of his sandals, a man came running toward him. The man stopped in front of him and knelt down. When he had regained enough breath to speak, the man said, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus looked down at the man and asked him a question in return. “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments given to us by Moses.”
The man kept his head bowed as he spoke to Jesus. “Teacher, all of these things I have observed from my youth.”
“You are lacking in one thing,” Jesus said. The man looked up at Jesus, waiting for him to tell him what it was he lacked. Jesus pointed toward the market area of the city. “Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, and follow me.”
The man covered his mouth with his right hand. Then he looked at his robe, which was made from a deep blue and very expensive material. He was wearing sandals made from fine leather. He had gold rings on three of his fingers. He was a very rich man. But he could not part with his wealth and his possessions. He stood up slowly and walked away, scuffing his feet in the sand with each step.
Jesus turned to his disciples and said, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples looked at each other, as if Jesus had just spoken to them in a language they did not understand. Then Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
“Then who can be saved?” asked John.
Jesus touched each of his friends on the shoulder and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.” Peter stepped forward and said, “We have given up everything and followed you.”
“There is no one who has given up home or family for my sake who will not receive eternal life in the age to come.”
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
1. What did Jesus tell the rich man to do?
2. What did Jesus promise to reward faithfulness?
This year, the church is asking Catholics in the United States to make some small changes in the way they worship God at Mass. For example, your parish leaders may be asking you to kneel at points in the Mass when you used to stand, or to stand when you used to sit. You also may be asked to make a small bow just before you receive Communion, as a sign of respect for Jesus. Catholics also are being asked to think more about the meaning of prayers we say together at Mass. Music, especially singing, will become an important part of the Mass. We should all try to sing the songs of Mass, not just the cantor or people with good voices. For more information about the new changes, talk to your religious-education teacher or your priest.
Until the late 18th century, the government of Korea limited the amount of exposure the Korean people were allowed to have to foreign influences, including Christianity.
The first recorded Korean citizen to be baptized into the church was Pietro Yi in 1784.
Unfortunately, as Christianity spread in Korea, a counter movement of persecution of Christians fought against it. Two periods of intense persecution of Korean Christians and their Christian friends who had come to Korea from other countries were between the years 1839 and 1846 and between 1861 and 1866. Many people were put to death for their faith, while many others died from starvation, disease or exposure as they tried to escape.
Of the more than 8,000 Korean Christians who died, 103 of them were selected by name by Pope John Paul II in 1984 to represent all those who had died. We honor the Korean Christian martyrs on Sept. 20.