From Religion News Service, here’s part of the homily delivered by Father Kevin O’Brien, president of Santa Clara University, at St. Matthew’s Cathedral on the morning of the Inauguration:
The Gospel reading comes from St. Luke (chap. 4, verses 14-21), which is like Jesus’ inaugural address. At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus goes home to Nazareth, visits the synagogue, and reaches deep within his Jewish tradition to tell his neighbors what his public life is about. Invoking the prophet Isaiah, which we heard in the first reading (chap. 58, verses 6- 11), he promises to care for the poor, free the oppressed, and relieve people of their burdens.
I am sure that today’s inaugural address will be a bit longer than Jesus’ brief reading from the Jewish scriptures! But knowing the Bidens, I am confident that the substance of today’s inaugural address will echo Jesus’ message because your public service is animated by the same conviction to help and protect people and to advance justice and reconciliation, especially for those who are too often looked over and left behind, the people whose voices you raised in the campaign and throughout your public life.
This is your noble commission. This is the divine summons for all of us, no matter our faith background or walk of life.
As you live out this mission as servant leaders, I also remind you of the Lord’s promise, so beautifully proclaimed in the second reading from Paul’s letter to the Philippians (chap. 4, verses 4-9): “The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God …. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
… Every day, you will strive to heal our nation’s wounds and reconcile differences and bring us together. You know too well the challenges ahead and the cost of service. My deepest prayer for you today, as a priest, citizen and friend, is that you always remember that the Lord is near and no matter the sound and fury around you, that God wants to give you peace, a deep-seated peace that will sustain you.
Let all of us hear the good news today: The Lord is near, so no need to worry or to be afraid.
When we embrace both our noble commission and divine promise, something remarkable happens. In the words of the prophet Isaiah which we heard: “the light shall break forth like the dawn.” After too much darkness, the dawn breaks today, this inaugural day. Let us meet the dawn together, brothers and sisters, emboldened by our faith and civic conviction, full of promise and hope.