The Common Good

The Obama Inauguration: A Singular and Unique Event

The inauguration of President Barack Obama was a singular and unique event. I intend an emphatic redundancy. It was much much. Very very. Amazing.

There are few moments in our national life or in the history of the world when billions of people are focused with rapt attention on the same event at the same time. In celebration. When old years turn into new years, when old centuries turn into new centuries, when Fat Tuesday carnivals come, giving us permission to shed our disciplines before the mid-winter fast leading to spring, the celebrations are at different times in different places, a kind of wrinkle, a wave in time.

However, the inauguration of President Barack Obama as the first African-American President of the United States of America brought millions of people to the national mall. The crowd could be seen from space. Billions of people around the world watched on television and on the Internet. God and nature smiled. An ice bright day was at once cold and warm. Cold air. Warm hearts. Warm smiles. Warm tears. Warm wishes.

It was an event that culminated days of conviviality in Washington D.C. Sunday, the stars were out in broad day light on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Singers and actors with eloquence and power spoke of the history that brought us to this place in time. They sang of Love, One Love, that blesses not only one nation, but that blesses the world. Monday, the national holiday that commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a national day of service that called us to remember that progress comes from a common effort. It reminded us of King's absolute unwavering faith in nonviolence and the power of Love to transform the world when we each summon the strength to love.

From time to time God gives us glimpses of the possible. God gives us glimpses of God's self. When we fall in love

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