A woman prays with others in the rain outside Myongdong Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea, as Pope Francis celebrates a Mass for peace and for the reconciliation of North and South Korea inside Aug. 18. Many Catholic and non-Catholics braved the pouring ra in to try to get a glimpse of the pontiff at his last Mass before leaving South Korea. CNS photo/Simone Orendain

At Christmas, Korean cardinal prays for reunification, ferry victims

  • December 20, 2014

SEOUL, South Korea - A South Korean cardinal prayed for reunification with the North so that, "through trust and reconciliation, may we become one big family again."

In his Christmas message, released Dec. 19, Seoul Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung also prayed "that the joy of Christmas may be spread to every corner of our country, so that the poor and marginalized people may feel the blessings of God."

"Baby Jesus is born in every place where people love and share," the cardinal said.

"This is the mystery of Christmas: God sent his only Son in the form of a poor servant, to be with the poorest and the most marginalized people," he said. "By this, God reveals his infinite love to us and invites us to eternal life."

Briefly looking back at 2014, Cardinal Yeom recalled the April Sewol ferry accident, which killed 304 people, mostly high school students.

"I pray that the Lord will wipe away the tears of the sad ones and give them the strength that they need. We should look for the will of the Lord from such sadness and pain, in order to overcome all difficult situations," the cardinal said.

He recalled that when Pope Francis visited the country in August, the Pope "brought great consolation to those who suffer in sadness and pain." He added that the Pope's institution of the Year of Consecrated Life was for anyone who had been baptized, not just religious.

"The birth of Jesus Christ gives a deeper meaning to the consecrated life that we ought to live," the cardinal said. "The main purpose of the Year of Consecrated Life is to help us reflect and give thanks to the past, stay true and passionate to the present, and feel hopeful toward the future. Therefore, let us become the light which shines upon this world of darkness with our faith and joy."

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