The Commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In commemorating MLK Jr Day, the Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reflected on the divisions which face our country today, even as we commemorate the life and works of Martin Luther King, Jr. The Archbishop pointedly asked the questions, “how will we struggle against the injustices in our society, what means will we use?”
King’s own words resonate with us today: “Along the way of life, someone must have the sense enough and the morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives.” (1958) And so, with the power of love, we must rise to meet the challenges brought on by the forces of hate and ignorance. King’s core messages of peace, kindness, generosity, empathy, and of loving thy neighbor resonate more than ever. We can rededicate ourselves to be changemakers.
Archbishop Gomez reminds us that it is our Christian duty “to be healers and peacemakers, to overcome evil and lies, not by more of the same, but with words of truth and works of love.” With the guiding hand and through her intercession, Blessed Mother Mary, Queen of Peace, will lead us during this time of transition and will help us to continue to believe in the power of love.
Let us Pray:
Lord our God, see how oppression and violence are our sad inheritance, one generation to the next.
We look for you where the lowly are raised up, where the mighty are brought down.
We find you there in your servants, and we give you thanks this day for your preacher and witness, Martin Luther King Jr.
Fill us with your spirit: where our human community is divided by racism, torn by repression, saddened by fear and ignorance, may we give ourselves to your work of healing.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.