The diocesan celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. took place on Sunday, Jan. 17, at St. Martin de Porres Parish in Buffalo. The auxiliary bishop from the archdiocese of Washington, D.C., Bishop Martin D. Holley gave the homily and began with something that is often said, "There are at least three types of people, those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who ask, what happened?" He continued by saying that King was the type of person that "makes things happen" because he listened to the words of Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother, "Do whatever He tells you." Jn. 2:5.
In the Gospel of that day the Scripture told of the wedding in Cana, when Mary tells Jesus there was no wine and Jesus tells her, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come," Jn. 2:4. Mary turns to the servers and says, Do whatever He tells you, Jn. 2:5.
Bishop Holley said, that is exactly what King did. He was a very spiritual man who listened to what the Lord was asking of him, regardless of what he had to go through and he did so because of his love for the Lord. Like Mary and Jesus did everything the Father told them, they were perfect models to King and he was and continues to be a great example to all of us.
Bishop Holley also shared part of a sermon from King on how we must love one another and if we do, Jesus' love is perfected in us. Bishop Holley asked that we work toward making this spirit the order of the day.
Pope Francis reminds us in this Jubilee year of Mercy that the call of Jesus, pushes each of us never to stop at the surface of things, especially when we are dealing with a person. We are called to go beyond and focus on our heart, to see how much generosity we are capable of. No one can be excluded from the mercy of God. The church is the house that welcomes, owns and refuses no one. Its doors remain wide open. Pope Francis said, "The greater the sin, so much greater must be the love that the church expresses to those who enter." Therefore, "Do whatever He tells you," Jn. 2:5.
February we celebrate Black History Month in the United States. Let's begin with prayer on National Day of Prayer for the African-American and African families which takes place Feb. 7. The theme this year is, "God's Mercy Pulls us Through." In the reflection for this day Therese Wilson Favors wrote: "God's mercy has visited our families and pulled us through. Let's participate in God's ministry of mercy to each other by pulling each other through with some love and prayers in good times and through challenging times. If there are some broken places within the family, let's pull each other through, reconciling all that separates us from each other."
Instead of complaining about this one or that one, or what is being done or not by other members of the community, the family, the pastor, the Church or maybe even the bishop, be available to listen to what it is the Lord tells you to do. Don't just watch or be the one to ask, what happened. Be the person that makes things happen with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Dr. King was surely a role model for all of us!