Reflecting on his five-day apostolic visit to South Korea that concluded Monday, Pope Francis affirmed that Christ never diminishes or cancels something ‘good,’ like culture, he only enriches them, and brings them to their full potential.
Speaking to the thousands gathered for this morning’s weekly Audience in Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father spoke on his visit and the Church in Korea, stressing, “Christ does not abolish what is good, but carries it on, and brings it to fruition.”
“My recent apostolic journey to Korea enabled me to visit a young and dynamic Church filled with missionary zeal, a point of encounter between ancient Asian cultures and the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said, noting this visit’s significance “can be summed up in three words: memory, witness and hope.”
“As a guardian of memory and hope,” he said, the Church is “a spiritual family in which adults convey to young people the torch of faith received from the elderly; the memory of the witnesses of the past becomes the new testimony in the present and hope for the future.”
He underscored how these roles were clearly seen in both the beatification of 124 Korean martyrs and in the celebration of the 6th Asian Youth Day.
On being a guardian of witness, the Holy Father said, “A young person is always looking for something that makes life worth living, and the martyr bears witness to something, indeed, to Someone for whom it is worth giving one’s life,” he said. “This reality is Love, it is God, who took flesh in Jesus, Witness of the Father.”
The Church in Korea, he said, “is founded on faith, on missionary efforts and martyrdom of lay faithful,” stressing it grew largely because of these laity “who saw the attractiveness of the Gospel” and “sought to live like the first Christians, in equal dignity and solidarity with the poor.”
Reflecting on the nation’s history of the faith, the Pontiff said, “Christ does not cancel cultures, Christ does not cancel cultures. He doesn’t suppress the progress of the people who, through the centuries and millennia, seek truth and practice love for God and neighbor.”
Typical of the Argentine Pontiff, Francis warned against the devil’s tricks, and explained how the faithful can steer clear.
“Who Christ fights and defeats is the evil one,” he said, “who sows discord between man and man, between nation and nation; who generates exclusion because of idolatry of money; who sows poison into the hearts of young people.”
However, the Pope reminded those present, “Jesus Christ has fought and won over him with His sacrifice of love,” so if “we remain in Him, in His love, we too, like the martyrs, can live and witness his victory.”
Francis’ hope for the peninsula’s people, he expressed, is they continue to grow in faith and love, overcome every division, and have a future of reconciliation and hope.
This trip, he concluded, was illuminated by the feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven.
From above, Mary accompanies the journey of God’s people, “supporting even the most tiring steps,” “comforting those who are undergoing trials” and “keeping open the horizon of hope,” said the Pope.
The Pope entrusted the trip to Our Lady with stops at Rome’s Marian basilica, Santa Maria Maggiore, just before and after his trip.</p>
On Zenit’s Web page:
Full Translation: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/on-francis-visit-to-korea