Message for the 2021 Day of Prayer for the Reconciliation and Unity of the Korean People (Summary)
“For we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us” (Lk 11,4)
The Catholic Church in Korea dedicates the month of June to praying for the reconciliation and unity of the Korean People.
We pray that the Korean Peninsula - an area suffering from the pain of division for such a long time - may be peacefully reconciled by declaring an end of the ongoing ceasefire and finally move towards the unity of the Korean People. We still witness suffering and friction brought about by the Korean War and ideological conflict. Now is the time to open our minds and hearts and move towards peace.
Although North and South Korea have been divided for more than seventy years, both long for reconciliation and unity; however, each is heading in totally different directions. It is so obvious that the rift between the two grows deeper when each raises its voice and positions become incompatible. As reconciliation is a prelude to unity, peace is the one for us to unite. Therefore, we should forgive, reconcile, and work in love to establish a lasting peace on the Peninsula.
Under the guise of protecting the human family, enormous resources are being squandered on developing state-of-the-art weaponry as well as nuclear weapons. What a courageous decision it would be if we were to accept Pope Francis’s recommendation “to establish a ‘Global Fund’ with the money that is used for weapons and other military expenditures, in order to definitively eliminate hunger and contribution to the development of poorer countries” (Video message of his holiness Pope Francis for the World Food Day, October 16, 2020).
Besides praying for peace, let us also act for peace wherever we find ourselves; in families, neighborhoods, parish communities, and society. At the same time, let us remember our brothers and sisters in North Korea and try to strengthen solidarity with them by encouraging mutual exchange in a variety of ways, building relationships, and sharing love.
On a daily basis, we sincerely ask for God’s forgiveness, saying “for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us” (Lk 11,4). If we are not willing to forgive others who wronged us, how can we claim to pray for peace and reconciliation?
Living the Day of Prayer for the Reconciliation and Unity of the Korean People, let us pledge ourselves to faithfully keep reciting the prayers, Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for peace on the Korean Peninsula at 9 every night until our longing is fulfilled.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Mt 5,9).
June 25, 2021
+ Simon Kim Ju-young
Bishop of Chuncheon
CBCK Committee for
the Reconciliation of the Korean People