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January 19, 2015

Martin Luther King Day

Mk 2: 18-22

Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”

Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.

“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made.And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Changing Our Hearts

There comes a time when old, favorite pieces of clothing must be discarded. Not even good enough to donate, the sweatshirt from our alma mater or those favorite pajamas purchased during a London vacation, softened to perfection by years of laundering, must finally be discarded. They might offer comfortable nostalgia, but in reality no longer fit or serve us well. It can take an achingly long amount of time for us to let go, but with Jesus there is always the promise of something new that is more life-giving.

So it is with ideas. It can take a long time to discard old ways of relating to others, locally and globally, in favor of something new.  Today, as we honor the memory of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are reminded of his eloquent preaching of Christ’s desire for peace and unity. Evil, operating under the guise of good, has convinced many civic leaders that increasing militarization is essential for those who “protect and serve” to carry out their sworn duties. Yet officers and citizens alike are being shot and killed, rending the fabric of our communities. Many, especially the young, are echoing the plea of Dr. King to put down arms of war and embrace each other with arms of humanity. Can we heed their call?

—Jenéne Francis, is Provincial Assistant for Pastoral Ministries, Chicago-Detroit Province and Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus

Prayer

We can no longer afford to worship the God of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation.  The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate.

Love is the key to the solution of the problems of the world. Here and there an individual or group dares to love, and rises to the majestic heights of moral maturity. So in a real sense this is a great time to be alive. Therefore, I am not yet discouraged about the future…granted that we face a world crisis which leaves us standing so often amid the surging murmur of life’s restless sea.

But every crisis has both its dangers and its opportunities. It can spell either salvation or doom.  In a dark confused world the kingdom of God may yet reign in the hearts of men.

—From Dr. King’s Nobel Lecture, December 11, 1964


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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January 19, 2015

Martin Luther King Day

Mk 2: 18-22

Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”

Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.

“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made.And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Changing Our Hearts

There comes a time when old, favorite pieces of clothing must be discarded. Not even good enough to donate, the sweatshirt from our alma mater or those favorite pajamas purchased during a London vacation, softened to perfection by years of laundering, must finally be discarded. They might offer comfortable nostalgia, but in reality no longer fit or serve us well. It can take an achingly long amount of time for us to let go, but with Jesus there is always the promise of something new that is more life-giving.

So it is with ideas. It can take a long time to discard old ways of relating to others, locally and globally, in favor of something new.  Today, as we honor the memory of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are reminded of his eloquent preaching of Christ’s desire for peace and unity. Evil, operating under the guise of good, has convinced many civic leaders that increasing militarization is essential for those who “protect and serve” to carry out their sworn duties. Yet officers and citizens alike are being shot and killed, rending the fabric of our communities. Many, especially the young, are echoing the plea of Dr. King to put down arms of war and embrace each other with arms of humanity. Can we heed their call?

—Jenéne Francis, is Provincial Assistant for Pastoral Ministries, Chicago-Detroit Province and Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus

Prayer

We can no longer afford to worship the God of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation.  The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate.

Love is the key to the solution of the problems of the world. Here and there an individual or group dares to love, and rises to the majestic heights of moral maturity. So in a real sense this is a great time to be alive. Therefore, I am not yet discouraged about the future…granted that we face a world crisis which leaves us standing so often amid the surging murmur of life’s restless sea.

But every crisis has both its dangers and its opportunities. It can spell either salvation or doom.  In a dark confused world the kingdom of God may yet reign in the hearts of men.

—From Dr. King’s Nobel Lecture, December 11, 1964


Please share the Good Word with your friends!