On Inauguration Day, we pray for a peaceful transition for all. Below you will find a prayer service used this week in the Sisters’ Chapel to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His life and legacy need not be nor should not be limited to one day and his message of peace, unity, and non-violence, it is ever so relevant today.
We believe in a God who liberates.
We know a God who accompanies those through the wilderness of long nights and treacherous waters.
We hear a God who cries aloud at the silence of indifference, the denial of human love and the destruction of innocence.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream
Reader: “Well I don’t know what will happen now; we’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. 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. So, I’m happy tonight; I’m not worried about anything; I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
-Martin Luther King Jr. “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”
Final speech, April 3, 1968
Leader: The words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would turn out to be stunningly prophetic; Dr. King was shot the following day. None of us know the number of our days or how much time we have to do things we dream. In Catholic health care, we believe in a coming glory that we may not see. We hope for the day when all sickness and struggles are over, and yet, in the meantime, we do as John Wesley exhorts us:
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
Leader: Pray with me for God’s grace to believe in the vision of the Promised Land while working for healing and justice today.
Side 1: Loving God, you see the reality of those most vulnerable. You never hide from their truth. Move us to serve them as we would serve you.
Side 2: God of Strength, you rescue those in need of liberation. Help us to see that we are one community, your children, whether slave or free.
Side 1: Creator of All, you crown each person with perfect dignity and inherent worth. Let this conviction light in us the fire of your love to better serve our global community.
Side 2: Eternal God, you are with us ever and always. In this time of national turmoil, we ask that the dream of peace, unity and equity that Dr. King lived and died for be as a ‘balm in Gilead’ for the United States of America and for all people of the world.
All: Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your people. Build in us the desire to reach out for our suffering brothers and sisters. May we unite to help one another navigate the challenging terrain and waters, together we will reach the peace we desire. AMEN
(Adapted from Prayer – World Day for Social Justice – Catholic Health Association 2019)