Last week we remembered the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We also listened to contentious discussions of voting rights.   How do we understand these two contradictory events?  The words of Dr. King and of our Blessed mother might guide our reflection.

In her Magnificat, Mary celebrates God’s choosing her to bring Christ into the world. She also acknowledges her low status and marvels that future generations will remember her as blessed by God.  Mary notes God’s favor of the poor over those who use their power to benefit themselves and to oppress others.  To restrict voting rights, to eliminate the wisdom of diverse experiences is to render some people voiceless and to weaken our democracy.

Answering criticism that his participation in nonviolent was “unwise and untimely,” Dr. King  wrote in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” : “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”  Will we take up the call for justice and ask our leaders to do the same?