(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy school community on Thursday morning, 10 December 2015)
Good morning La Salle. Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of a loving God.
Just a few weeks ago, an attack was carried out against Paris, France. Over one hundred innocent lives were lost. Most recently, an attack on the Planned Parenthood in Colorado and the attack in San Bernardino, California further reminded us of the terror that exists throughout the world. In addition, though we may not have been well aware of them, many other attacks occurred recently throughout the world- Beirut, Baghdad, and Alexandria just to name a few. As we will do at the vigil tonight, let us take a moment of silence to remember the victims of all of these senseless attacks. *Silence* The ramifications of these events are profound in that these events tend to divide people- fingers are pointed at entire ethnic groups, politicians pick sides to appease their followers, and the media clouds our perspectives. It is our moral obligation to counteract this negative change- to unite rather than to divide.
A common answer which we often hear to alleviate prejudices is to pretend not to see color, ethnicity, or a cultural background. To be “colorblind.” For a moment, imagine a world where everyone was the same. You, the person on your right and on your left, in front of you and in back of you, looked identical. The true answer to alleviating prejudices is quite the opposite from being colorblind. New ideas and perspectives (the products of diversity) fundamentally lead to the progress of the world. Rather than pretend not to see color, to fail to acknowledge the immense diversity of the human race, we must open our eyes, because it is there. We may then accept our differences, educate ourselves from unique perspectives, and love others simply because they exist.
Every Advent season, emphasis is put on renewing ourselves as people under God. Let us seek to put this goal into practice by working to accept, to understand, and to appreciate others of all socio-cultural and ethnic backgrounds before passing judgement.
Today, posters have been hung in the halls which will remind us of some of the places affected by the recent attacks. Notice how, if we refuse to be colorblind, we will see a message on the poster which is written in red ink.
Let us pray
Dear Father, help us learn to love others.
Help us to appreciate and accept color, race, and ethnicity.
Let us learn to love and treat each other with respect and dignity.
Give us the wisdom to celebrate diversity and rise above stereotypes.
Allow us to come together in our school community, our local community, our national community, and our global community, so that we may accept each other as we should- as a family.
Saint John Baptist de La Salle—
Pray for Us .
Live Jesus in Our Hearts—
Student Members of the La Salle Academy Diversity Committee