Saturday, February 9, 2019

Boreta Singleton Has Something To Say February 10th 2019 Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The first reading from Isaiah brings to mind the familiar song "Here I am Lord" set by many composers-- Dan Schutte being the most famous but also our former Xavier music director, Michael Ward. It also  reminds me during this Black History Month of my many ancestors and their White allies who gave themselves generously to the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Martin Luther King said "yes" many times, but when he began receiving death threats, he questioned his involvement in the ministry of bringing racial justice to our country. In his autobiography,  he speaks about the terror he felt as he paced the floor one night. His wife answered the phone several times that evening, and on the other end was a person threatening to bomb their home, harm their children or kill him. The night before a brick was thrown through their front window, almost injuring his children.  Dr. King felt paralyzed with fear, but he said he sensed God saying to him, "Martin, I am with you even in these difficulties." And he said that he knew God called him, despite his fears, to press on and call all others to join him on the civil rights  journey.  He renewed his "yes" to God. 
Jesus, in today's Gospel, not only calls Peter and the disciples to "catch people," but calls us too to press on in the struggle to build God's kingdom here on earth.     Dr. King, empowered by God's grace, called on not only African Americans  but also the White clergy and their congregations across our country to join him in the pursuit of justice. The brutality of the Selma march had been seen worldwide on television, and Dr. King discerned that the tide of the movement needed to change. Soon, Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy , in addition to others, and even leaders with no religion, joined the movement and were visibly present, unafraid to face the cruelty of their opponents. In a recent interview with Michelle  Alexander (author of "The New Jim Crow") , Angela Davis ( civil rights activist) echoed a similar way of thinking. When asked by Dr. Alexander who were her White allies, Dr. Davis stated, "I have no White allies. I have White brothers and sisters, White aunts and uncles, White friends and lovers who help me on the journey to justice. " Let us, too, join together  and,  regardless of  race, gender, ability, religion or age,  "catch people" in imitation of Jesus and the disciples. Let us invite them to join us on the journey to build God's kingdom here on earth. May  you and I respond to God's desires  for justice and peace in our world as Isaiah did:  "Here I am, Lord, send me!" 

Boreta Singleton has been  a parishioner at St. Francis Xavier Parish  since 2003 and  is a member of the  choir, serves as a Spiritual Director in  the ISEL program and as a  liturgical minister.  She is  currently at St. Peter's Prep High School in Jersey City and ministers as  the Director of Faculty Formation.  Boreta lives in the Bronx, and sings with  The Ignatian Schola  and the chorus of  Choral Chameleon.   

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