Standing up for our own dream

Published 7:00 am Saturday, January 23, 2016

On a steamy day in August, on a sun-strewn Washington, D.C. , many thousands of people stood gazing in the direction of a famous man, standing before the marbled monument of a former President of the United States. His presence had been well publicized, his agenda clear, as he began to slowly and deliberately enervate and inspire. The words fell distinctly and clearly upon the ears of those present, those from afar and those in the future. “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

Today, these words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking from the Book of Isaiah, still offers hope for peace, within all mankind and within all lands.

While his call to action was to specifically address the condition of African-Americans in our country, it was also to address the conditions of all of humanity, whether they be black, white, orange, green or purple. His “I Have a Dream,” speech exemplified the call to real justice and the call to equality, not just for his own advantage, but for all. Indeed, we were not told that equality was to come at the expense of new inequalities for others.            Yes, Dr. King had a dream, as all of us do. For some, it may be to win the lottery, in the earnest hope that all of our problems will be solved; as though, somehow, it would correct all of life’s inequalities. Some may dream of fame, or other wealth, or love or…you fill in the blank. Dreaming is a core part of our very being, as we do it in our sleep, as well as in our waking hours.

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For many, for millennia, their dreams are only this; mere misty phantasms in the dark recesses of our psyches. Somehow the inspiration stage only becomes the, “I’ll put in the file cabinet for a later time,” stage.

These dreams are soon overshadowed by this thing called life, and later placed in the dustbin of our memories. What a pity and such a loss to us all. Somehow, our dreams become less and less important to what we are, and more important to what we have. Consider our world if we were to have dreams of getting along better with each other, more compassionate, more forgiving, and then live the dreams in reality.

As Jesus Christ, being the Son of Man in his time upon this Earth, we can be well assured he dreamt, and what glorious dreams they must have been. His testimony, to us, is replete with the constant message of the beneficence and hopes of God, speaking to all His peoples. One of His most well-known “speeches,” is often called the Sermon on the Mount, which brings a distinct level of clarity, guidance and inspiration.

It calls upon all of us to be enervated and inspired to do what He calls us to do, one with another.

We are told, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth,” and “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

In these days, we honor the message of a great man. Yet, in what way to we honor him? Let us do so, in honoring ourselves, through our thoughts, words and deeds and dream for peace, on all the Earth.

By Fr. Jonathan J. Filkins.