Today, January 15, the United States of American 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. 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, 1968.
One of the readings today, the first reading from Hebrews 5: 1-10, is intended to refer to Jesus and his true humanity. But some of the phrases could well be descriptive of the person and faith of Martin Luther King, Jr., a “prophet” in his own time.
Here are some words that -- for me -- resonate about the life of “prophets” in our midst. I was born in 1937 and remember the struggles of our nation in the mid-sixties.
Together let us pray: Good and Gracious God,
We pray in thanksgiving for the life and witness of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Help us reflect on ways in which we can live our lives – as Jesus did and Martin Luther King, Jr., did – so that we may become enthused with a thirst for justice for all women and men…..in all cultures and in all nations. We ask this of you, Oh Lord….
Let us resolve today to make 2007 a more just year in our own communities because of our own words and deeds;
Help us bring Your kingdom, Lord, so that we may live justly and compassionately in our families, our places of work, our places of recreation…in all our actions. We pray, Lord….
We fervently ask this, Lord, in the name of your Son Jesus, the guiding witness and light for Martin Luther King, Jr., and his followers. Amen.
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