02/09/2016, 18.22
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Korean missionaries: God's mercy will be a balm for Asia

A group of priests from  Daejeon Diocese will be sent from Rome by Pope Francis as the instrument of God's love.  They explain to AsiaNews: "Many people in our country, leave the Church because they feel unsuited to the Christian life because of their sins. We want to remind everyone that the real name of Christ is love ". Their bishop, Msgr. Lazzaro You Heung-sik: "We all have to be missionaries of forgiveness."


Rome (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis’ sending out of the Missionaries of Mercy  "is a call to all the world, and Asia in a particular. With this gesture, the Pope wants to remind us all that the real name of Christ is love. And we will try to be his instruments in the best way”,  three Korean priests in Rome to become missionaries of mercy tell AsiaNews.

In all, six priests arrived in the Vatican from South Korea they, one from Seoul, one from Daegu and four from Daejeon. One of the four from the diocese led by Msgr. Lazzaro You Heung-sik has stayed at home for health reasons, but is still able to carry out the task entrusted by Francis.

The other three are Father Andrea Park Jong-woo, Father Bernardo Jo Jang-yun and Father Paul Min Byung-seub (see photo). The first is now retired, but works in a diocesan office that oversees spiritual life. Father Bernardo Jo works in a congregation of nuns while Father Paul Min works in a parish and at the same time is professor of biblical theology at the seminary of Daejeon.

Interviewed by AsiaNews, the three admitted that they had not thought at first to become missionaries of mercy, " However, we listened to the advice of our bishop, and we understood that at the present time in which we live it is important for the Church to make known to the people God's mercy. Because so many people have left the Catholic Church, and others have difficulty living in the Catholic community because they feel inadequate, hardly forgiven for their sins. "

Speaking to AsiaNews their bishop, Msgr. You, explains: "The Pope forcefully reminds us, through gestures and words, that God's name is mercy. The standard by which we measure ourselves as  Christians is how merciful we are. Hence feeling loved by the Lord is fundamental: we feel ourselves to be great sinners, but we can be forgiven. The Church's task is to distribute this mercy to the people. In addition to the priests who are now in Rome, I think we all have to be missionaries of mercy. Because our mission is charity. "

The three priests say that this is why  "we decided to become missionaries of mercy. We want to serve the Church to be an instrument of God, so that people can hear how great the mercy of God is and in this way can return to the Catholic life. "

In this Year of Mercy, says Father Bernardo, "we would like to do our part and give the people of God the courage to return to the Church. We want to remind everyone that the Lord never tires of forgiving. Men may sin against God and against his neighbor, but the most important thing is to return to God".

The three missionaries also have another goal: "We hope our work will remind our brother priests, their true identity is to be instruments of God’s mercy".

From the practical point of view, when the three return to Korea they will continue each their own work. Especially Father Andrea Park, who works in a particular office for the life of the clergy: "Many priests and religious come to us to reflect on their spiritual life and in some cases do penance. Through my work I want them all to know that God's love embraces them. "

Pope Francis’  decision to hold a Jubilee of Mercy, they conclude, "it is a true sign of the Holy Spirit, working through the Pope. Many Catholics have forgotten mercy, and have seen their hearts hardened. They can not forgive their neighbors, their family, and at the same time fail to ask God's forgiveness. Those who experience forgiveness and mercy can forgive others and ask their mercy without difficulty. Because they understand the joy that comes from forgiveness ".

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“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”