My brother bishops, dear brothers and sisters in Christ,1
What a glorious morning to give thanks to our good God and to renew our faith in Jesus Christ and his Catholic Church!
In the Gospel we have just heard, Jesus describes the Church as the new family of God gathered by his words and actions.
Those who hear the Word of God and act on that Word are members of his family, he tells us.
This is a beautiful definition of who we are as Catholics. We are the family of God. And that means one of us is a child of God! That means that each one of us is a sister or brother to one another. That is the beautiful reality in our Catholic Church and in our lives.
The Gospel today reminds us that in Baptism, we are reborn by his Word and sacrament, by the power of his Holy Spirit. The family of the Church is not a family related by blood ties or ethnicity or nationality. We are a family born of the Spirit, united in his Body and Blood that we receive in the Eucharist.
So we remember today also that our Catholic Church, the family of God, is a family that has no borders. We are one family of families — drawn from every nation, tribe, people and tongue!
And Jesus Christ, as we know, called his Church to spread his Gospel to the ends of the earth, to make disciples of all nations. We remember today in this holy Mass the heroic men and women who brought the good news of Jesus Christ and his salvation to Korea.
The holy martyrs, St. Andrew Kim, St. Paul Chong, and some 100 of their companions, all laid down their their lives so that future generations would know Christ’s salvation. What a beautiful example for all of us.
So let us today be inspired by their memory and ask their intercession as we rededicate ourselves to the work of the new evangelization in our country.
And let me finish with the beautiful words of a newly beatified woman, Mother María Inés Teresa Arias. She lived here in Los Angeles and on December 12, 1930, she received her call to be a missionary in a special way. She is going to be beatified next April 21 in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
She said: “Joy in our daily Mass, our adoration and meditation, in our daily apostolate, in any type of work we do — in all the actions of our daily lives. While we eat and sleep, as well as when we rest. We need to be missionaries by every breath, by every palpitation of our hearts, minute by minute of our lives.”2
And let us ask our Blessed Mother May, who kept all the words she heard about her Son and pondered them in her heart, to help us to hear Christ’s Word and to live by it, and to really be the family of God!
1. Readings (Tuesday, 25th Week in Ordinary Time / Memorial of Ss. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and Companions): Ezra 6:7–8, 12, 14–20; Luke 8:19–21.