As Americans celebrate Independence Day today, we thank God for the precious gift of freedom. We also remember those within our borders who do not yet enjoy all the freedoms that are rightfully theirs.
In this current age, we need to remember and celebrate not only our independence but also our interdependence—that is, our connectedness and oneness with all nations on earth. Today’s prayers and readings support such a view. In the opening prayer we ask God to help us as a nation to share our blessings “with all the peoples of the earth.”
Isaiah names the great sin against such sharing—“wicked avarice,” that is, extreme greed. Greed can be a sin of both individuals and corporate bodies such as a nation. And the psalmist lists three essentials of interdependence: kindness, truth, and justice. These essentials cause us to ask: Is our kindness restricted or inclusive? Do we seek and speak the truth? Do we work untiringly for greater “justice for all,” as it is articulated in the Pledge of Allegiance?
St. Paul encourages us to “have no anxiety at all.” He adds that our anxiety will be eased by “prayer and petition” to God. Finally, in the Gospel, Jesus says: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” He offers a way for us to do this: “Love me and keep my word.”
As we celebrate Independence Day as a nation, let us also celebrate our oneness and interdependence with the entire global community.