The National Shrine of the Martyrs and the Ascension

The Shrine of the Martyrs

I got to see the National Cathedral in Seoul and the Martyr’s Shrine in Jeoldusan.  I’ve seen relics in Europe, but none in the US.  Its a good reminder to see the foundation of the faith for the people of a certain group.

The Martyrs’ Shrine in Seoul is where the prison used to be and where political prisoners used to be tortured and killed.  Over top of that land there is now a Roman Catholic Shrine, where they hold Masses. Its a circular room, painted white and full of light.  There is a soft glow that just envelopes the room; the light coming from the floor and the open ceiling makes you feel like the more important space is there, not in the room below.  Below the altar there is a small room where plaques are hung for the parishioners to pray and reflect.

Being on that ground is a good reminder for what we take for granted: Christianity is a rival to the world’s kingdoms – it is a rival that far surpasses anything that this world could offer.  And , even here in Korea, the kingdom suffered at the hands of those who felt the threat of the invasion of a foreign king.

I take this for granted, too.  I take for granted that I serve a nation that allows me freedoms to worship as I choose.  But, even more so, the only way that freedom matters is if I have a King worthy to be served.  Only Jesus as King, ascended, can afford me the freedoms I long for.  Only him, as resurrected, can give me the forgiveness I desire, and the ability to be changed.  I have no King but Jesus.


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