What was witnessed on January 6, 2021, was truly horrifying. This country has seen riots before — just look back to last May, June, and July. But we as a nation have never seen anything like the events that took place on a day when most Catholics throughout the world celebrate the Epiphany’s light.
Instead of wise men who came bearing gifts to the One who is truth, there was a crowd of enraged people invading the Capitol.
Instead of three kings giving witness to the light, there was anger; something that was not virtuous, not right, and just.
Regardless of one’s political affiliations and beliefs, no one can say that what the nation witnessed on January 6, 2021, in our nation’s Capitol, was good, that it was something for which Americans can be proud.
No, we saw a clear and present mob attack on the workings of democracy in our nation.
Five people died that day, and we need to pray for the repose of their souls and the consolation of their families. We need to pray for all those whose lives have been affected. We need to pray for the current President and Vice-President, the future President and Vice-President, and all legislators.
America was at its absolute worst that day. Imagine what our place, which needs to be premier in honor, in truth, in justice, in mercy, and strength, is now in the eyes of the nations’ families.
What was demonstrated was not how Americans act. It was a national and international disgrace.
We should be ashamed that the divisions which had been boiling over for so long in our country had finally come to this.
Where does America go from here? Perhaps we can learn to be a little kinder to each other, to listen a little bit better to each other, even if we wholeheartedly disagree.
Maybe we can learn to love each other, which means to will the affective good of another, not just to like or agree with the other person, a bit more. Maybe the freedoms afforded here in the nation, the greatest country on the planet, might not be taken for granted. Maybe we can acknowledge that each person is created in God’s image and likeness, and from conception to natural death has immense, immortal value.
Perhaps our beloved nation’s flag can be seen once again as the sign of what is meant to be — hope.
U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president.”
Our nation needs to be united at this time, not divided.
Healing can only come when we can see the other as a brother or sister and not an enemy.
Nothing can and will ever justify the attack on democracy and freedom that occurred. America is indeed great, but we need to re-appreciate the values that make her, our home and native land, so great — precisely the values for which it stands, as one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.