What do these people have in common? Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey, Condoleeza Rice, and Colin Powell. The answer is all too obvious, isn’t it? Each person listed is an African American who has accomplished wonders in his or her chosen field. Each stands out in enjoying tremendous respect from the general American population. There is no doubt about it. The black community has made tremendous strides over the last fifty years. The passage of the basic Civil Rights Bill in 1965 and other structural changes in American society have opened doors and windows and highways to improvement and betterment for the African American community.
Are black Americans satisfied? Of course not and they should not be. While it is wonderful that talented individuals have soared to the top of their field, and it is wonderful that there are so many of them, the fact remains that black communities across the United States are still marked by poverty, inadequate education and leading to limited upward mobility. Education is the key and when good education is tied in with fair and open employment, there is no limit to what this community can do in the next fifty years. But don’t expect them to be patient. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863 nearly 150 years ago.
The United States must keep pushing to achieve its full potential – equal education and equal opportunity for all of its people.
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I couldn’t believe my eyes. There it was in print and I was shocked. I am referring to the fact that the rector of the Cathedral in Phoenix, Arizona has changed its policies on altar servers. From now on only boys may serve but girls may apply for jobs as sacristans!
We known for a long time that the Church has had difficulty in recognizing the changing place of women in society and therefore it has held back to a regrettable degree. However, there has been progress since the Second Vatican Council with women responsible for the distribution of the Eucharist, reading of Scriptures, administrative positions, e.g., chancellors, canonists, and so on. Now we see this rather foolish backing up in Phoenix.
What is going on? The rector argued that replacing girls with boys as servers leads to more vocations to the priesthood! I don’t think that is a realistic position at all and it flies in the face of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, which states clearly, “a true equality between all with regard to the dignity and activity which is common to all the faithful in building up the Body of Christ.” (Nos. 12, 32)
Poor Arizona. So much bad news from that state!
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26th Sunday (September 25th)
The Church year is beginning to wind down. For many weeks, the Scripture texts presented for our consideration each Sunday morning have provided us with material for thought, self evaluation and, hopefully, self improvement. Occasionally, some of them jump out at us with really startling concepts. Today, is such a day.
The theme of today’s Mass is obedience and the Gospel narrative gives an excellent example of that, but the most important for me personally, is the second reading from the second chapter of St. Paul in which he talks about the obedience and humility of Jesus Christ. St. Paul is writing from prison to his friends and converts in the city of Philippi. The apostle urges them to be united in faith, not to quarrel or fight and pointing out that they can avoid conflict by being humble and generous to each other. Then he referred to Christ’s attitude in those areas.
Christ, “though he was by nature God, did not deem the equality with God something to be grasped at. Rather he emptied himself, took the form of a slave and born in the likeness of men.”
In his preaching, Paul frequently urges us to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ – “For me to live as Christ.” He never asserted that it was going to be easy and in today’s world, such a path is truly challenging.
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