Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Patrick,
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land! I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man! Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!
These were the concluding words of Dr. King’s speech, I’ve been to the Mountaintop, on 3 April 1968, at Mason Temple in Memphis Tennessee. He died the very next day.
As we celebrate this national holiday in honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we don’t merely commemorate a chapter in our American history; we’re called to continue the work he and others assumed in order to eradicate some of the injustices threatening the dignity of human life. And so much more needs to be done.
May this holiday inspire each of us to address – through prayer, education, and action – the need for fruitful action. This day may be an opportunity to spend time praying for people who are persecuted because of their ethnicity or skin color. Perhaps this is an opportunity to learn more about the issues that stem from racism within our society, or reflecting upon some of our own Church statements (go to USCCB.org/racism). This might also be a day of fasting or performing an act of service.
However we choose to observe this holiday, let us take from Dr. King who climbed that mountain and, upon seeing the Promised Land, continue to encourage others.
In Christ’s Peace,
PS – as the Christmas Season concluded, I want to personally thank our many parishioners and friends for the Christmas cards, prayers, and kind thoughtfulness. Thank you!