There is a famine in America. Not a famine of food, but of love, truth, and life.St. Teresa of Calcutta
Tomorrow is the 4th of July, which entails a day of cookouts, yard games, fireworks, and family fun to celebrate America’s independence. We often hear the cliches that America is the best country in the world. Although that’s not entirely true, those of us who are proud to be an American will defend it tooth and nail.
The United States isn’t perfect. For every good thing that I can say about our nation, somebody will come back and say something negative. While America has come so far in its 240-some years of existence, I can’t deny that we still have a long way to go. I see our nation, still young compared to others, constantly growing. Despite our shortcomings, we’re still fighting to make ourselves the best nation we can be.
While the United States doesn’t have everything, it does have some great things. I’m thankful that I have clean water to drink and to shower in, and that my family and I never had to go to bed hungry. I’m thankful that I have clothes to wear, a home to go to, and a bed to sleep in. I’m thankful that I have a college education. I’m thankful that I can vote, drive a car, and speak my mind.
I know what you’re thinking, “Not everyone has access to all of these opportunities in the United States!” This is true, and this is heartbreaking. While everyone technically can have a house, an education, and more in the United States, not everyone is privileged enough to do so, which disappoints me. This is why we need to fix systems that put others at a disadvantage or leave others out altogether. Until then, it’s so important for us as everyday citizens share our wealth and change our hearts. When much has been given to us, the Lord expects us to give much to others. We set aside money to donate. We give of our time and volunteer. We use our voice to advocate and speak up whenever we see inequalities and injustices. We need to take a hard look at ourselves to see what conscious hatred or subconscious biases we hold. Once we recognize those, we need to mold our hearts to become more inclusive and loving. We follow the corporal and spiritual works of mercy to give our brothers and sisters in Christ a better quality of life and to remind them that they’re loved.
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Imagine how different America would look if we all resembled Jesus Christ a little more. Our country would change for the better significantly if we were all more generous and merciful towards our neighbors. Think of what the United States would be like if we treated everyone we met as if they were Jesus. While “separation of Church and State” is a big deal for some people, I ask that you consider this. Instead of immediately rejecting Jesus in public or political settings, if we embraced him and his teachings a little more, our country would grow in virtue, we would improve our morals, and the United States would be a better place for everyone. I don’t mean saying “Jesus likes this!” or “Jesus thinks this is bad!” but emulating him and his Gospel that the Father loves all of his children, and there’s a place for all of us in his house. We would love our neighbors as ourselves and love our enemies. Because virtues like, faith, hope, and charity, are inherently good, we should strive to uphold these to make the America truly great.
If you’re feeling pessimistic or downright unpatriotic this Independence Day, I see you. I understand. Our country has been through a lot lately with the Coronavirus pandemic, police brutality, riots, and more. My heart is breaking for our nation too. I invite you not only find but be the positive changes that are coming from these trying times, and one of the best ways to make a change is through prayer. Please join me in praying for our country and those who lead it. God bless America.
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