Two men who dedicated their lives to bring about justice for all people in our country. I was graduated from high school that year and hoped that the violence that was seen in American streets would touch the hearts of people to bring about change in our society. What Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said is true, “that riots are the language of the unheard." The recent riots in our cities are raising the voices of the unheard who have been frustrated time and time again by the seeming senseless deaths of black men at the hands of police officers. It is time for all of us to hear their cries of pain at the injustices that exist in our society. It is time to work and pray that our society overcomes the prejudices that prevent us from truly being “One Nation under God.”
Since my high school graduation in 1968 much progress has taken place in our country to break down the barriers of racial prejudice and other prejudices that prevent people from accepting others with human dignity and respect. But the recent events point out that we have a long way to go. Black lives do matter as do the lives of all people that are subjected to injustices because of the color of their skin, their nationality, their sex, their sexual orientation. Prejudices in many forms have infected our hearts and our society. This moment in time is a challenge for each of us to examine our hearts to reveal the prejudices that exist within us. And to pray to God for conversion of our hearts and conversion of our social order that “Liberty and Justice for All” might be more that words we pledge to our flag but words that challenge us to bring about that reality.
It will only happen if we are a people of hope, who want to see healing in our nation and are willing to work and pray for change. May we place our hope in Jesus our Risen Lord and invite the Holy Spirit to give us the wisdom, courage and fortitude to bring about a just and compassionate society.
God’s blessings and peace, Father Bill