A Rich Treasure of Celebrations
January 16 to 25 is filled with a plethora of special observances for our church and society. On January 16 we observe a National holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr .the great Baptist minister and civil rights leader who inspired many people and laid the foundation for the 1964 Civil Rights legislation that would begin a healing and reconciliation process in America. Born on January 15 1929 in Atlanta Dr. King proved to be a powerful, inspirational leader who sought to end racial discrimination through nonviolent peaceful means. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for peace in 1964. He was assassinated on April 4th 1968 in Memphis TN. People are asked to reflect on the principles of racial equality and nonviolent social change espoused by Dr. King. We follow the American custom of celebrating the holiday on a Monday, the third Monday, rather than the actual day of his birth.
From January 18 to 25 we will celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This year’s theme is taken from the first chapter of Isaiah, Do Good: Seek Justice. Is 1:17. During this week we are asked to pray that our world may move towards the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper, “that all may be one” Jn. 17:21. The week concludes significantly enough on the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. If the grace of God was powerful enough to bring about his conversion then it can surely bring about a more unified church and help thereby to promote the Good News of Christ to a waiting world. Consider attending mass an extra day this week to pray for Christian unity.
And finally on January 20 we will celebrate the 50th Annual March for Life in Washington DC. This year’s celebration will also mark the momentous overturn of Roe V Wade. Abortion is the greatest human rights abuse of our time but thanks to the perseverance of the Pro Life Movement, through education and advocacy change is slowly taking hold. The struggle continues now that the decision about Pro Life policies is handed back to our elected representatives in Washington and in States Capitols .This year’s March for Life will go from the Mall to the Steps of the United States Capitol building and not to the steps of the Supreme Court, as in other years. There will be many speakers at the rally on the Mall preceding the March. I will be marching as usual and encourage others to do the same. Watch our bulletin for information about buses.
And on January 23 our nation will observe a Day of Prayer for Legal protection for the Unborn. Consider attending Mass at 8am that morning or join us for a Eucharistic Holy Hour for Life immediately following Mass.
A rich plethora of feasts and celebrations indeed, all for justice and the protection of human rights. Let us “Do Good and Seek Justice” (Is 1:17)