…..from your Pastor’s Desk:

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King Jr. To some reading this, these names bring back memories of personal experiences during the turbulent times of the sixties and seventies; the start of the Civil Rights Movement, the Catholic Worker Houses and the beginning of the changes that are still in process today to make this country one of equality for all people. Note: Still in Process. To those that weren’t born yet these names might as well be Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman. Great historical figures all. We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. Many, like Jesus Himself, shedding their blood for the good of others, for the good of all. Let them and their work be not forgotten. Let us also not delegate Jesus as merely a great historical figure.

Tomorrow, January 16, the United States of America celebrates the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., (1929 – 1968). He led millions of people in a non-violent movement to bring an end to the segregation of races in the United States. Martin was not alone in his non-violence stance. Throughout history men and woman have stood against the hateful ‘subjectification’ of people due to race, creed or place of origin. Many have died for this cause. Many more will.

We all are tragically made aware of how violent our world has become, indeed our own nation. The horrific, vicious shootings and bombings of recent memory will resonate for years to come and sadly, yet hopefully, serve as a reminder that the work begun by such men as Martin Luther King Jr., is never done.

His words eloquently express his passion and faith: “You ought to believe something in life, believe that thing so fervently that you will stand up with it till the end of your days…” He was assassinated on April 4, 1986.

Tomorrow’s first reading; Hebrews 5: 1-10, is intended to refer to Jesus and his true humanity. But some of the phrases could well be descriptive of a person of faith like Martin Luther King, Jr., a “prophet” in his own time. Many of you remember the struggles of our nation in the mid-sixties. Here are some words from Hebrews that – for me – resonate about the life of “prophets” in our midst in our day.

Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representatives before God…
• He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness…

• No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God…
• In the days when he was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence…
• He learned obedience from what he suffered…

We pray in thanksgiving for the life and witness of Martin Luther King, Jr. His was indeed a prophetic voice. Was he perfect? No. Did he have flaws? As do we all. As did all the saints and martyrs. Which is why we humbly ask the God of Justice to help us reflect on ways in which we can live our lives – as Jesus did and Martin Luther King Jr. did and as did so many throughout time who stood up for others – so that we may become enthused with a thirst for justice for all women and men…..in all cultures and in all nations.

Let us resolve today to make 2017 a more ‘just’ year in our own parish and community because of our own words and deeds.

We ask the God of Mercy to help us so that we may live justly and compassionately in our families, our places of work, our places of recreation, our places of worship, and in all our actions.

We fervently ask this, Lord, in the name of your Son Jesus, the Prince of Peace, the guiding witness and light for Martin Luther King, Jr., and his followers.

Monday is a National Holiday. Use the day wisely. Join those who pray for peace and an end to all violence.

Mass is at 9am; Holy Spirit Church.

Father Ron


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