- A man walks into a convenience store and murders two African American men because he couldn’t get in to a Baptist church to kill more African Americans.
- 11 people were murdered Saturday when a man armed with three pistols and a semiautomatic assault-style rifle attacked a synagogue in Pittsburgh — the deadliest attack on Jews in the history of the United States.
Our nation is in moral peril.
As a Catholic, African American woman I am concerned.
Jews and Christians share a history, dating back to Abraham, and that it was the Jewish people who gave the world an understanding that there is one Almighty Creator. The biblical stories, which reveal God’s loving relationship with God’s chosen people, also tell of the struggles of those people to live in response to God’s unconditional love. Jesus drew from these scriptures for all of his teachings. The two Great Commandments, which are commonly ascribed to Jesus, actually originated in the Torah. “You shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” is Deuteronomy 6:5, and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” is Leviticus 19:18.
Catholic liturgy and ritual is certainly situated in Jewish tradition. The Passover meal, which was most likely the occasion for the Last Supper, became the framework for Catholic Mass. Both rituals begin by telling stories–stories of pain and stories of joy, but always stories of God’s redemptive love for God’s Holy People. The Passover meal and Catholic Mass both glorify God, as with the Jewish recital ofDayenu, “For that alone we would have been grateful.” Following the blessing of the unleavened bread and the wine comes the sharing of the meal, which closes with a prayer of thanksgiving. The strong parallels between Passover and Catholic Mass include a lighting of candles that begin both rituals and a sacrificial lamb–the Exodus lamb, slain to free the Israelites from Egypt’s enslavement, and Jesus, the Lamb of God, who died to free the world from the bondage of its sinfulness. In our classes we emphasize that our religions have a common origin but developed in some different directions.
Millions of citizens throughout the world are no longer considered as inviolable persons: they are mere things to be juggled at will by gangster governments. Atheism, Communism, Nazism, excessive nationalism and arrogant militarism have brought back to the civilized world the servitude of man. The anti-Semite, like the atheist and the Communist, refuses to recognize in his neighbor the image and likeness of God.