Washington D.C., Aug 28, 2020 / 14:48 pm
The Beatitudes provide a way forward in a time of suffering, the Archbishop of Washington, D.C. said at a Mass on Friday on the anniversary of the 1963 civil rights March on Washington.
“Matthew’s Beatitudes are a spiritual compendium for transforming society, and most importantly, for converting the human heart,” said Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C., in his homily at Friday’s Mass for Peace and Justice at St. Matthew’s Cathedral.
The Beatitudes, the archbishop said, “highlight the virtues and the spiritual vision that are necessary for society’s renewal.”
Gregory offered the Mass on the 57th anniversary of the 1963 civil rights March on Washington. At the march, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” address.
Hearkening back to the 1963 march, the archbishop said on Friday that the Beatitudes point to a “society of harmony and justice, which were the desired end of that march, 57 years ago.” Dr. King, he said, “no doubt had reflected often on these Beatitudes.”
Archbishop Gregory offered the Mass after a week of unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and a turbulent summer of protests and riots against racism in cities across the U.S.
“We are at a pivotal juncture in our country’s struggle for racial justice and national harmony,” he said.
This past week, protests and riots erupted in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after police officers shot a 29 year-old Black man in the back on Sunday; the man, Jacob Blake, is paralyzed from the waist down, his family told reporters this week.