Superman and Korean Rice Paddies


“…those who hear the Word of God and act on it.” (Luke 8:21)

We need religion and Church to help us conceive clearly what the world really is, and who we really are.  We can play around, imagining that we are something that we’re not—like imagining that I’m Superman or Darth Vader.  That’s what Halloween is for, right?

But: to live in reality, we need the Word of God and the teaching of the saints.

Thousands of Korean Christians died as martyrs about 200 years ago.  One of them, Fr. Andrew Kim, wrote to his people shortly before his martyrdom, to remind them of the message of the Word of God.

The people were rice farmers.  Anyone every visited a rice farm?

Anyway, I think it’s pretty similar to farming in general.  1.  The farmer works to cultivate the soil and sows the seed.  2.  The seed needs water to grow.  3.  The farmer hates to see weeds.  4.  The farmer looks forward to a fruitful harvest.

St. Andrew Kim reminded his people:  God is a farmer.  The world is His farm.  He has sown us as His rice plants.  He has watered us, by sending His only-begotten Son, so that we can grow.  He hates to see us choked by the weeds of self-centeredness and sin.  He looks for us to bear fruit—which we do by seeking to know His will and acting on it.  He hopes to share the joy of the harvest with us.

These days plenty of people seem never to think of God.  They hardly seem to understand what going to church is all about.  Meanwhile, they have no sense for the grand reality of the world, or of our own particular lives.

Being Superman might be fun for like 15 minutes.  Maybe for a couple hours, if I’m trick-or-treating.  But being who I really am is a million times better.

We are God’s handiwork, God’s rice plants, God’s beloved children.  To praise Him, worship Him, love Him, and try always to co-operate with His will—that’s what we were made to do.  And when we do it, we can actually find true happiness.

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