by Margaret Antonio
On the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Boston College Campus Ministry organized a university-wide Mass, “A Celebration of Faith & Hope.” The Mass was held at St. Ignatius Parish, with Boston College president, Fr. William Leahy, SJ, as the celebrant and Fr. Michael Davidson, SJ, as the homilist. Fr. Michael is a resident minister at Edmonds and also gave the homily at the annual university Advent Mass. Several other Jesuits concelebrated the Mass. Music was provided by the Liturgy Arts Group (LAG). There were approximately 800 students in attendance.
During the homily, Fr. Michael addressed the past year’s racial conflicts, which ignited student protests. The theme of his homily was how we are called to respond to injustices in society with
personal reflection and active love. By looking at the example of Samuel from the Mass’ reading and the life of Martin Luther King Jr., Fr. Michael encouraged the congregation to contemplate and
ask one’s self what needs to change in one’s own life. He pointed to the example in the Old Testament of Samuel, who responded to God’s voice calling him in the middle of the night.
“We struggle internally as Samuel did,” said Fr. Michael, referring to Samuel’s doubt of whether it was God calling him. “We fail to think about this question because if we do, we might have to change.” Likewise, Fr. Michael suggested, we must point the finger at ourselves first, rather than at others and ask ourselves as Martin Luther King Jr. did, “What is it in our lives that needs to change?”
Fr. Michael further emphasized the importance of not just “tolerating” people, but more importantly actually caring about people. “Rather than just not being unkind to others, we need to love others.”
“What’s love got to do with it?” Fr. Michael asked, quoting Tina Turner, a singer and actress popular in the 80’s.
“Everything. When we protect each other’s dignity, then love has everything to do with it.”
Fr. Michael concluded the homily quoting Martin Luther King Jr.’s timeless words, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
At the conclusion of the Mass, Fr. Leahy thanked the community for coming together and for the efforts made by all to organize the Mass.