“I have decided to stick with love, hate is too great a burden to bear.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day is celebrated today, January 17, 2022. It is a day to remember the history of Dr. King and serves as a reminder of how Dr. King fought for equality, dignity, and freedom.
The founder of the Society of Mary (Marists), Fr. Jean-Claude Colin, envisioned a world where people from all walks of life would live Mary’s life in their time and make present in the world the Holy Spirit as modeled in Mary’s life of grace. This inspires Marists to enter into the quiet, passionate work of mercy and calls us to live in compassionate humility reflecting the spirit of Mary: gentle, loving, relational, inclusive, and merciful. Our concerns in Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation are rooted in this. Our commitments draw us to stay:
Aware of current and emerging global problems compromising safety and security, social and economic fairness, and the delivery of reasonable justice.
In direct contact with people on the economic margins of society.
In solidarity with those who are involved in the struggle for justice.
The Marists encourage you our readers to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King by participating in volunteer opportunities in your local community. It is our prayer that we can all walk together and live a life of compassion and mercy.
Today’s Feast marks the conclusion of the Christmas Season and the beginning of Ordinary Time. It’s a feast of transition from Jesus’ hidden life to that of His public ministry. It also echoes the theme of the Epiphany in that the Baptism of the Lord is another manifestation announcing Jesus’ divinity to all of His first followers and to the disciples of John the Baptist. Today the Body of Christ is invited to not only reflect on the event of Jesus’ Baptism, but also to reflect on the mystery of our own Baptism.
Religious discrimination and persecution
We pray for all those suffering from religious discrimination and persecution; may their own rights and dignity be recognized, which originate from being brothers and sisters in the human family.
How is it possible that many religious minorities currently suffer discrimination or persecution? How can we allow that in this society, which is so civilized, there are people who are persecuted simply because they publicly profess their faith? Not only is it unacceptable; it’s inhuman, it’s insane.
Religious freedom is not limited to freedom of worship—that is to say, that people can have a worship service on the day prescribed by their sacred books. Rather, it makes us appreciate others in their differences and recognize them as true brothers and sisters.
As human beings, we have so many things in common that we can live alongside each other, welcoming our differences with the joy of being brothers and sisters.
And may a small difference, or a substantial difference such as a religious one, not obscure the great unity of being brothers and sisters.
Let us choose the path of fraternity. Because either we are brothers and sisters, or we all lose. Let us pray that those who suffer discrimination and suffer religious persecution, may find in the societies in which they live the rights and dignity that comes from being brothers and sisters.
When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. (Matthew 2:10)
The example of the Magi helps us to lift our gaze toward the star and to follow the great desires of our heart. They teach us not to be content with a life of mediocrity, of “playing it safe;’ but to let ourselves be attracted always by what is good, true, and beautiful … by God, who is all of this, and so much more! And they teach us not to be deceived by appearances, by what the world considers great, wise, and powerful. … Today this is of vital importance: to keep the faith. We must press on farther … toward Bethlehem, where, in the simplicity of a dwelling on the outskirts … there shines forth the Sun from on high, the King of the universe. By the example of the Magi, with our little lights, may we seek the Light and keep the faith.
Homily by Pope Francis, January 6, 2014
We three kings of Orient are, Bearing gifts we traverse afar, Field and fountain, Moor and mountain, Following yonder star.
O star of wonder, star of night, Star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect Light. Amen.
(Text: John H. Hopkins, Jr.)