Day 19: Juneteenth

This reflection is a part of a month-long series titled, 30 Days of Healing, as we seek to be instruments of peace and change.

Today, our nation celebrates Juneteenth. As our country continues to heal from centuries of racial injustice while seeking a better tomorrow, it is important for us to learn and understand why this day is so important to all of us.

I was unfamiliar with the day until last year when my colleagues at our Inclusivity Resource Center at St. John’s University hosted a moving and inspirational lecture and celebration.

A former student posted on social media today how he never thought he would live to see the day when Juneteenth would gain such national recognition.

It is such an important reminder of how we see the world and history through our formed eyes. We must listen to others, especially those who are different from us, to learn, to grow, and to be agents of change.

I invite you to join me in learning more. Provided here is a short reflection by Professor Brenna Greer of Wellesley on the day’s significance and why this year it is gaining the attention it so deserved.

Consider this recent article in America Magazine by Jamie Waters on the spiritual significance of the Black Lives Matter movement on Juneteenth.

Finally, today the Catholic Church celebrates the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Might we all ask God for a piece of that sacred heart so we can be more open and more courageous. Our thoughts and prayers for the injustice toward the Black community are not enough. Our love must move into action.

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