In their statement, the US Bishops apply to Dr King the passage of Scripture: 'No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends” (John 15:13).
What else needs to be done?
“On this day, as we reflect on his life and work, we need to ask ourselves if we are doing all we can to build the culture of love, respect and peace to which the Gospel calls us,” the Bishops write. They also ask questions about the work that still needs to be done in the area of civil rights.
Dr King desired God’s will over a long life
In citing the courage of Dr King who “remained undeterred in his principle of non-violent resistance, even in the face of years of ridicule, threats and violence,” the Bishops remind us that his desire to do God’s will outweighed his desire for a long life.
How to best honor Martin Luther King
When the dignity of others needs to be defended, “our faith urges us to be courageous”, the Bishops continue. Sitting on the sidelines is not an option, as Pope Francis reminds us. These motivations indicate how “we can best honor Dr. Martin Luther King and preserve his legacy by boldly asking God—today and always—to deepen our own commitment to follow His will wherever it leads in the cause of promoting justice."
The Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr was an American Baptist minister and civil rights activist. He was slain on the balcony of a Memphis, Tennessee motel where he had gone in order to lead a peaceful demonstration supporting striking sanitation workers.