A CALL TO NAME, CLAIM AND
LIVE THE VALUES WE PROFESS
By Sr. Brenda Walsh, Racine Dominican
Two recent events challenge us to
name, claim and live our values. They are the celebration of the
life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the inaugural
address of President Barack Obama as he begins his second term as
President of the United States.
He stated that being elected
president, does not mean declaring war on other nations and winning
them, nor is it about political bickering, but about creating a
world of peace where everyone will have equal opportunity and the
ability to use their gifts for their own good and for the good of
the nation and world. Both President Obama and Martin Luther King
called on us to be peace-makers in a world marred by violence in
almost every aspect of our lives. They urged us to address the
violence in our world and to find peaceful ways of relating and
solving problems. They also called for an end to the slavery of
racism, sexism, discrimination, and prejudice of every kind and to
speak out boldly against injustice wherever we find it.” Liberty and
justice for all” is at the heart of the spirit of America and more
in line with God’s design for our nation and world. We need to call
on God’s Spirit to guide and strengthen us in our response.
Both speakers challenged us to
take a serious look at global warming and its effects on the whole
world, especially among people who are poor and greatly deprived of
needed resources. They urge us to look at alternative energy sources
and technologies and to examine our own lifestyles and ways we can
contribute to a safe and sustainable environment. The world has been
given to us by our God, and calls us to diligently care for it for
the sake of future generations.
“Jobs, Not Wars” is a motto that
has long been displayed. The huge amount of money now spent on wars
can be used for job creation, training for work and helping those
who are poor meet their basic human needs. Money can be dedicated to
education, health care, learning peace-making skills and other
issues. Many more resources are needed to create a safe and
sustainable future for everyone.
All of us are called to work and
pray for equal distribution of wealth, in order to make sure the
needs of the poor and deprived are met and that they have access to
needed resources for themselves and future generations.
Dr. Martin Luther King’s life
shines brightly for each of us to follow by the witness of our
lives. May all of us have the faith and courage that Martin lived up
until he took his last breath. He worked to dismantle injustice
wherever he found it, even at the risk of his own life.
Like President Obama, we must be
convinced that another world is indeed possible. Then we can name
the values we want to see practiced in such a world and set about
putting them into practice.
To affirm all of these goals and
live them, we are encouraged by Pope Benedict’s address to the
Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Vatican. He reminds us that “If
justice is to be achieved, good economic models, however necessary,
are not sufficient. Justice is achieved only when people are
just….The current economic and financial crisis was developed
because profit was all too often made absolute, to the detriment of
labor, and because of unrestrained ventures in the financial areas
of the economy, rather than attending to the real economy.”
The Pope reminded his listeners
that at the end of the Second Vatican Council, which started 50
years ago, Pope Paul V! sent out messages that are still relevant,
including one addressed to world leaders. He encouraged them in this
way: “Your task is to be in the world, the promoters of order and
peace among people. But never forget this: it is God who is the
great artisan of order and peace on earth.” (For the full story, go
to Origins, January 17, 2013, Vol. 42, Number 32.)3211 F0urth St.
NE, Washington, DC 20017
May peace fill our
hearts, our homes,, our communities and our world.