The hour is late and the clock of destiny is ticking out, and we must act now before it is too late.
―Martin Luther King Jr.
Scripture: Psalm 36.5
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Reflection: No Nation Can Live Alone
By Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)
If the American Dream is to be a reality we must develop a world perspective. It goes without saying that the world in which we live is geographically one, and now more than ever before we are challenged to make it one in terms of brotherhood.
Through our scientific genius we have made of this world a neighborhood, and now through our moral and ethical commitment, we must make of it a brotherhood. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. This is the challenge of the hour. No individual can live alone, no nation can live alone. Somehow we are interdependent.
John Donne caught it years ago and placed it in graphic terms, “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” And he goes on toward the end to say, “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. Therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”
I think this is the first challenge and it is necessary to meet it in order to move on toward the realization of the American Dream, the dream of men of all races, creeds, national backgrounds, living together as brothers.
Now the other myth that is disseminated is the idea that legislation and judicial decrees and executive orders from the President cannot really solve the problem of racial injustice, only education and religion can do that.
Behind the dim unknown standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.”
With this faith we will be able to move into this new day. With this faith we will be able to adjourn the councils of despair and bring new light into the dark chambers of pessimism. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
This will be a great day. This will be the day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”
*Excerpt from The American Dream by Martin Luther King Jr.
When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people, Jacob will rejoice and Israel be glad. —Psalm 14.7
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.