HARRISBURG, Pa. – Bishop Ronald W. Gainer released the following statement today in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
On Monday, January 18, our nation will honor the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His words above, spoken during the civil rights movement of the late 1950’s and 1960’s, continue to hold significant meaning. As our society continues to be marked with anger, hostility, violence and the inability to listen to differing viewpoints, we are reminded through Rev. King’s words and deeds that all people have God-given dignity and should never be treated with prejudice, bigotry or hatred.
The violence and protests we have seen throughout our Country and our Diocese during the past year demonstrate that, while significant achievements have been made to end prejudice, the sins of racism and hate continue to plague our society. It affects all of us individually and as a nation. As Rev. King stated, only love can drive out hate.
Our Lord and Savior also commanded us to love and not hate. As we read in Matthew 22:37-39, “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Today, more than ever before, our communities, our nation, needs love. It is only love that will end hate. Only love that will end prejudice. Only love that will bring peace.
As we honor Rev. King, I pray each of you will bring the light of Christ’s love to your homes and communities today and always.
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