Cardinal Andrew Yeom lights the Easter candle at the Easter Vigil Mass at Myeongdong Cathedral in South Korean capital Seoul in 2018. (Photo courtesy of Seoul Archdiocese)
Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul has praised the South Korean people for their patience and sacrifice in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In his Easter message, he expressed his thanks to the faithful for passionately continuing their faith despite the unprecedented suspension of public Masses as well as to priests for celebrating Masses and praying for the faithful.
“I find a hidden blessing in this difficulty because the faithful and priests are missing each other more than ever, which is deepening our love and respect for each other and leading us to the realization that our daily life is a blessing. I believe this will be furthering the growth of our faith community,” said Cardinal Yeom, the archbishop of Seoul.
Using the biblical story of the “Road to Emmaus appearance” as a metaphor for the darkness of the pandemic, Cardinal Yeom said: “We are currently going through dark times, like the two disciples on the walk to Emmaus. We feel very anxious and fearful without knowing when this long dark tunnel will end.
“However, the Risen Lord accompanies us walking through the tunnel of darkness. If we leave ourselves to the Lord, we will be able to overcome fear and regain hope.”
South Korea has reported 10,450 cases of coronavirus with 208 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Cardinal Yeom also referred to next week’s legislative election for the 21st National Assembly of Korea, calling on all politicians to carry out policies that will give hope to the people, particularly those facing difficulties.
He ended the message with these words: "The resurrected Jesus is always with us under any circumstances. Let's stay with him. Let’s become a person who cherishes hope and creates hope, recalling the Lord's words, ‘Do not be afraid!’ (Matthew 28:5). Let's withstand this ordeal by treating each other with consideration and love. Let’s pray that the Holy Mother, comforter of those in anxiety and affliction, will give us comfort and peace.”
Cardinal Yeom’s message will be read out at Easter Sunday Mass.