Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Jackie Robinson, A Christ Figure

Here is a good article out of Catholic News Agency by Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

The Beauty of Jackie Robinson

On April 15th 2009, a new custom was established in baseball. Henceforth, every on this date, all uniformed baseball personnel would wear Jackie Robinson’s number 42 in honor of this great ball player and American.

It was on this historic date in 1947, that he took the ball and bat at Ebbetts Field to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers and broke the color barrier in baseball with grace and perseverance. He suffered for the cause of the Negro and for all minority men and women in sports. 2012 marks the 65th anniversary of an integrated game of baseball. This year, April 15th passed quietly on a weekend when millions were commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

Three Christ-Figures

Three figures of recent memory resemble Jesus and his mission. Mahatma Gandhi (d 1948) and Martin Luther King, Jr. (d 1968) entered public service for the sake of justice and ultimately gave their lives for it: Gandhi, to win India’s independence, and King, to implement Civil Rights in the United States. The events that unfolded in their lives became the context for their respective missions. They spoke of freedom in simple, profound, and authoritative words, drawing people from disparate places. The unjust oppression of the powerless provoked their reaction. In the face of legal but immoral laws, they resisted, but non-violently. Though Gandhi and King saw the inevitable dangers threatening their message, they accepted the real possibility of dying for their respective causes.

Jackie Robinson (1919-72) was not martyred for his cause. But he was a hero and a pioneer for having laid the groundwork for the mission of Martin Luther King, Jr. Between 1942-46, the future major league ball player served in a segregated US Army. As the son of a Georgian sharecropper keenly aware of racial prejudice, he barely escaped court martial when he refused to move to the back of a bus.

* read the rest of the article HERE

No comments: