Commentary

Grand Juries – Ferguson – Staten Island

bible-handsYou don’t need to do more than simply mention these words and everybody knows what they refer to – and the deep emotions they evoke.  So I’ll just share mine:

Confusion; Frustration; Anger; Hurt; Helplessness.

Last night, on my way home from two events in Lower Manhattan, I had more time to reflect as I was caught up in the delays caused by people demonstrating.  Let me add something that struck me yesterday.

As we look around us at the big “specks” in our society, let’s not forget to look at the “planks” in the eyes of our own personal and professional lives – in ourselves, our families, our agencies. We need to recommit ourselves to acting in a way that reinforces our belief in the God-given dignity of every person, and abhors the destructive divisiveness when we use differences of race, ethnicity, class, religion to tear us apart.

This morning I found Alicia Key’s We Gotta Pray moving, inspiring and even somewhat comforting to me.  Hope you do also.

Let me just share with you my own Advent prayer and hope.  Maybe you’ll make it yours too …

  • May communities that feel aggrieved finds ways that forcefully yet peacefully express that anger and frustration – also their hopes;
  • May the police – so often at the center of these issues, perform their difficult jobs with integrity, sensitivity, understanding;
  • May all of us commit to creating a New York and nation in which the differences among us do not tear us apart but that we find ways to foster reconciliation;
  • May our hopes for a peaceful and more harmonious New York be rooted in our enhanced commitment to social justice that ensures opportunity and basic necessities for all; and
  • May we see in each New Yorker of every race, of every ethnicity, Your image and likeness.
  • May we hate and despair less, and love and hope more.

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