20111222 Thursday of the Fourth Week of Advent (Lk 1:46-56)
My dear brothers and sisters,
As we know that today is the winter solstice, the shortest day with the longest night of the year, called ‘Dong ji'(동지) in Korean. This is one of the important times of the year for Koreans. Old Koreans considered this day a regeneration of the sun from the dark and named it as a “Small New Year’s Day.” Some Korean says “if Jesus was born in Korea, it will be the winter solstice, Dong-ji to Christmas day. There is a traditional Dong-ji’s food that is red bean porridge, called ‘Pat-juk'(팥죽). It is made out of red beans and rice balls of glutinous flour. In Korean culture the colour of Red beans symbolizes the protection from evil spirits and sickness, and the white rice balls means new life, year and sun. if you eat as many rice balls as your age, it means you have aged one year. Although the winter solstice, Dong-ji, is not a major Korean holiday like Chu-seok or Seol-nal, many Koreans enjoy a red bean porridge and wish for a healthy and prosperous New Year. Likewise, I wish all of you good health and happy New Year on the winter solstice, Dong-ji.
Magnificat Anima mea Dominum
As it is getting close to the end of Advent, the Christmas tree season sale ended well with our cooperation and consideration. Brother Dominic is cleaning our monastery to greet the coming of Jesus Christ. Brother Marinus came back to take a rest for 4 weeks. He will go to Mount Angel Seminary in January 15 next year. I pray and hope that all these things are some of our preparation, our conversion and purification for the coming of Jesus Christ. Yes, today it is really a good time and a good day for conversion and purification.
In today’s Gospel Mary shows us the best way how to prepare and wait for the coming of Jesus. This is the Mary’s Magnificat. She was praising the Lord not only after her suffering but before and during her suffering. She was not only praising afterwards but praising anyway. She was praising by faith and not because she saw favorable circumstances.
In our prayer these last few days of Advent, we should praise the Lord in hard times and good times. And let us prepare for the Christmas coming of Jesus as Mary did and sang the Magnificat.