January 20: We were all created different, but equal.
Fr. Steve encourages the men of the parish to sign up for Exodus 90. There is an online sign up form on the parish website.
We pray for a change of heart in the country as a whole to realize that the ending of the life of an unborn child is gravely wrong. So we pray for an end to the evil of abortion.
Fr. Steve calls our attention to the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day this Monday coming. He quotes from the pastoral letter of the Catholic bishops, entitled Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love - A Pastoral Letter Against Racism, which was issued in November 2018.
Racism arises when—either consciously or unconsciously—a person holds that his or her own race or ethnicity is superior, and therefore judges persons of other races or ethnicities as inferior and unworthy of equal regard.
Many of us have innate prejudice. It is part of human nature to see someone different as a threat. But we as Christians have to resist this tendency with regard to race or color.
In this country, there has been systematic discrimination against incomers from other countries. We all tend to tolerate asides and name-calling of those of other races. These are the neighbors that Jesus adjures us to love.
What is needed, and what we are calling for, is a genuine conversion of heart, a conversion that will compel change, and the reform of our institutions and society. Conversion is a long road to travel for the individual. Moving our nation to a full realization of the promise of liberty, equality, and justice for all is even more challenging. However, in Christ we can find the strength and the grace necessary to make that journey.
We need to let go of our condescension to other races, as though they are somehow inferior in themselves.
This command of love can never be simply “live and let others be.” The command of love requires us to make room for others in our hearts. It means that we are indeed our brother’s keeper (see Gn 4:9).
In the pastoral letter the bishops repent for ways the Church has stood by and watched racial injustice without intervening.
Lastly, Fr. Steve provides a remedy for racial prejudice or persecution in the power of healing that comes from the resurrection. We are wounded, we respond by believing lies and making judgments of others, and then we make inner vows in order to avoid pain. All of these need to be renounced and the original wound healed.
Let us pray that we have the courage to examine our own hearts regarding racist comments and attitudes, repent of them and be united in the rich diversity of the body of Christ.