Homily at the Jeoldu-san Korean Martyrs’ Shrine

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran

Seoul, Korea

26 May 2011

In this shrine everything speaks of testimony. We are reminded that to be a Christian has never been easy and will never be easy!

I am particularly moved to be here today, because, among the Korean martyrs, a French missionary from my diocese of origin (Bordeaux), Louis Beaulieu, is buried.

Having heard the Acts of the Apostles and knowing the history of the Korean martyrs, we understand better that the Church is not an ordinary association. She is a communion, opened to all generations, cultures, peoples. She is the place where God is always present, a community where we have our spiritual roots.

When we look for the secret of a coherent Christian life like the one of the martyrs, we have to remember Jesus’s words “remain in my love … so that my own joy be in you and your joy be complete”.

To remain in Jesus’ love means to have the courage

·      to say no to evil and not to be egoistical;

·      to resist being compromised and to be honest in every occasion;

·      to be ready to be different for the sake of Jesus Christ, when those around you seem to have an easier life without asking too many difficult questions;

We cannot forget that the light of the Gospel has been handed to you by ordinary Christian men and women. They were the Church as you are, the Church today, because we are united to Christ and to the apostles with Peter as their leader.

Let us help each other in giving an attractive appearance to the Church of Christ, of which we are in some way the features of the face.

We are entrusted with God’s honor! Non- Christian judge Christ and his Church according to what we are, say and do. What a great responsibility!

It is why at the end of the Mass I shall pray for you with these words: may these mysteries give us new purpose and bring us to a new life in You.

Yes, we need the strength which comes from the highest to be like the Korean martyrs, coherent and contagious: our hope and our consolation is to know that God loves us first!