||August 8, 2016 • VOL. 54, NO. 14 • Oakland, CA|
We need to see ourselves as God does: Brothers and sisters
On July 29, I was invited by Bishop Bob Jackson, pastor of Oakland's Acts Full Gospel Church, to participate in a citywide prayer vigil. Representative clergy from many churches in Oakland attended. It was the first time I have been invited to speak at a Protestant church since I became Bishop of Oakland. Fathers Jay Matthews and Jayson Landeza were also present, representing our Catholic community.
We are all children of our Heavenly Father, created in the image and likeness of God, as it says in Genesis. We need to see each other as God sees us looking down from heaven: as brothers and sisters.
I thanked Bishop Jackson for inviting me, and including the Catholic Church in the prayer vigil. I also invited all the pastors present, the 1,000 people in the congregation, and I invite you who are reading this — to attend another prayer vigil — at 5:45 p.m. Sept. 6, at our cathedral.
We are bringing together representatives of Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist traditions to give witness to "Mercy: the Heart of Peace." On July 29 we prayed for healing in our city. In September, we want to pray for healing in our world.
At Mass July 31, many Muslims across France attended Mass to express their condolences for the murder of Father Hamel. I was moved to see a young Muslim woman wearing her hijab attend Mass at our Oakland cathedral. I went over to her and thanked her.
Many people lament the rise of violence in our city, our nation and our world. We have a chance to do something constructive in response. Come and join us at the cathedral on Sept. 6. We can pray. And prayer changes things!
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