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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  www.originsonline. Com

 May peace fill our hearts, our homes,, our communities and our world.


Justice Preaching Archive

Just click on a title below to read the article.
- The latest titles are listed first. -

• Justice Bulletin Board •
• A New Year •
• Two Essays on Peace •
• A Call To Respect and Welcome Diversity - A Challenge of Our Faith •
• Addressing White Power and Priviledge •
• An Ethical Reflection on Work... •
• A Re-energized Catholic Church •
• A Renewed Call for Nuclear Disarmament •
• Called to Proclaim and Live With Moral Courage •
• Called To Protect the Poor In Our Economic System •
• Call To Persevere In Praying and Working for Peace •
• Care For the Environment •
• Care for the Earth •
• Caritas in Veritate •
• The Challenge of Discipleship •
• Comprehensive Immigration Reform •
• The Death Penalty Revisited •
• What Is Ecological Economics •
• Eliminating Global Poverty •
• Global Warming... Calling for an Urgent and Ethical Response •
• God's Fool •
• Green Congretations - A Growing Movement •
• More Gun Control •
• Healing the Racial Divide •
• Speaking the Truth in Today's World Takes Courage •
• Justice and Compassion •
• Labor Issues and the Catholic Church •
• Is More Consumer Spending the Answer? •
• Moving from A Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace •
• Preaching Justice & Moving from Violence to Peace •
• Reaching For the Stars - Brenda Walsh •
• A Call To Reduce Prison Population •
• The Relationship Between Labor And the Catholic Church •
• Sermon On Domestic Violence •
• Sustainability •
• The Death Penalty •
• The New Economy Movement •
• The Role of Ethical Standards... •
• War Is Not the Answer •
• Witnesses To Hope •

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