“Sometimes, when we speak of charity – we mean ‘charity towards others’ – but the real meaning of charity is that we ourselves are the object of the ‘first charity’ of God – God loves us. In recognizing that God loves us, we can then love others.”
Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, the Apostolic Nuncio to Korea, said this as he celebrated the Closing Mass of the 561st Exodus Workshop of the Catholic Youth Bible Movement, which was held last month.
During his homily, Archbishop Padilla quoted Pope Francis’ words that “We find God, not by worshipping images or beautiful words, but when we apply into ourselves the very teaching the Bible shows us. The words of Scriptures are empty if we do not apply them to our lives.”
About 450 people were present during the Holy Mass, including 11 priests, 30 volunteers, and 208 members who had finished their study on Exodus.
“We put this context of Exodus in the Jubilee Year of Mercy,” said Archbishop Padilla. “For Pope Francis, the Year of Mercy means first of all that we are the objects of God’s mercy – we are all sinners, but God is ready always to forgive us. Sometimes, when we speak of charity – we mean ‘charity towards others’ – but the real meaning of charity is that we ourselves are the object of the ‘first charity’ of God – God loves us. In recognizing that God loves us, we can then love others.”
The Archbishop went on to remind the young people that “Pope Francis looks at you as the future of the Church in Korea and in Asia. This is why he came to Korea last 2014, on the occasion of the 6th Asian Youth Day – to bring his message of the gospel to all of you.”
After the Holy Mass, Archbishop Padilla expressed his surprise for Youth Bible Movement, saying that he never knew there is such a dynamic and enthusiastic organization of young people in Korea.
The Catholic Youth Bible Movement was established in Korea in 1972, with the purpose of ongoing education for young Catholics.
In small groups, young people go through 4 levels of study in the order of Genesis, Exodus, Mark, John. After each level—which may take 3-5 months—group members are encouraged to participate in a 4-day workshop to receive a certificate of completion.
Each year, the Catholic Youth Bible Movement receives approximately 5,000 participants.