On the occasion of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15, 2009, Diocesan Ordinaries in Korea issued messages, encouraging the nation inclusive of the faithful, to promote peace, justice and love to overcome old and new crisis challenging us. They urged especially the faithful to set an example to the nation, practicing the words of God in their everyday life resolutely.
In his message entitled "Justice will bring about peace; right will produce calm and security" (Is 32,17), His Eminence Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Jinsuk, Archbishop of Seoul and Apostolic Administrator of Pyongyang, said, "As the pilgrim people of God in this world, we have to march on together towards the truth and justice, searching for the common good of the humanity. On top of that, we should not forget that the realization of peace and justice must presuppose the love of Christ, because justice without love would turn into violence and love without justice might turn out to be just a hypocrisy." Then he said, "A human being should be the priority of all national policies and political activities. …… The political and social leaders should serve the nation in accordance with the criteria of justice and morality, especially with preferential concern and affection for the needy people." In conclusion he asserted, "The social leaders are not exclusively responsible for the establishment of peace. Especially we, as the faithful, have to assume great responsibility and duty, because the faithful are called to live as the witnesses of peace and justice in this world. First of all, we as the faithful should keep the domestic peace. Parents should teach their children peace with their good examples of life. Children should practice peace, respecting their parents and loving their brothers and sisters."
In his message entitled "'Behold, your mother.' And from that hour the disciple took her into his home" (Jn 19,27), the Most Rev. Lazzaro You Heung-sik, Bishop of Daejeon, said, "In his Encyclical Caritas in veritate, issued on July 7, 2009, H.H. Pope Benedict XVI showed us the way of life to be practiced the humanity all together, overcoming the global economic crisis. …… With a hope that we can soon overcome the economic crisis of our nation, I look forward to the establishment of a new relationship between workers and businesspersons, respecting the true ethical values. I also earnestly hope that a campaign for the reestablishment of economic ethics can be initiated to overcome this crisis prudently with the collaboration of government, businesspersons and workers. I urge the Christians to set a good example, realizing the spirit of the Caritas in veritate in their concrete life." In conclusion he said, "Only a new person can build a new society and a new world. We can be a 'little Mary' who can introduce Jesus to our neighbours with a life of 'fiat' to God's will, as the Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus, living a life of 'fiat' to the divine will. Let us practice a life, serving Jesus in us, as well as in our family, workplace, community, parish and diocese all the time."
In his message entitled "Behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me" (Lk 1,48-49), the Most Rev. Joseph Lee Han-taek, Bishop of Uijeongbu, said, "We are now witnessing the reality: the global economic recession is still underway; the terrors from all parts of the world are driving many civilians into panic indiscriminately; innumerous children are dying of starvation all over the world; the number of refugee camps are increasing, resulted from conflict, terror and starvation. …… For all that, we have to manage to have a time to listen to the words of God, and practice them in our life and action, as much as we comprehend them."
In his message entitled "Mother of the Lord is my first love", the Most Rev. John Chrysostom Kwon Hyeok-ju, Bishop of Andong, said, "St. John Mary Vianney practiced a faithful Marian devotion more than anyone else. At his age of four, he received a small wooden statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 69 years later, as we were told, as he was facing the death he said, 'I really have made much of this statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I made it a rule to abide in the statue all the time. Mother of the Lord is my first love. I started to love her even before I knew her.' …… It was said that the ultimate goal of the Marian devotion is to invite the faithful to live a life of a total conformity with God's will, chanting the praises of God. St. Vianney also abided in the Blessed Virgin Mary to invite the faithful to come near to God, let alone himself. …… Why did St. Vianney devote himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary? The reason is very simple. First of all, The Blessed Virgin Mary is the mother who gave birth to Jesus our Savior and nurtured him. Secondly, she is literally the 'first disciple' of the Lord, as the woman 'who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled' in the greetings of Elisabeth. …… The true Marian devotion is like this. When we come nearer to the Blessed Virgin Mary in love and veneration, the unity with the Lord gets stronger all the more. We can communicate the love of the Lord to our neighbours, practicing the words of the Lord. St. Vianney himself realized such a life."