Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States during his inauguration at the Capitol in Washington Jan. 20, 2021. (CNS/Reuters pool/Andrew Harnik)
Jan 21 2021
“For there is always light,” poet Amanda Gorman recited at today’s inauguration of our country’s second Catholic president, “if only we’re brave enough to see it / If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
Earlier that day, while attending Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, Joe Biden heard from the prophet Isaiah that “the light shall break forth like the dawn.” He would echo that theme in his hope-filled inaugural address, urging Americans to write an American story of unity, healing and decency. He even quoted Psalm 30 that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
As someone who has drawn on his Catholic faith throughout his personal and political life, President Biden and the events surrounding what was likely the most Catholic inauguration in our history reflected Biden’s belief both in democracy and in a God of resurrection. And he accomplished something our own church leaders have been unable to do: He reminded the American public that the church can be a force for good.
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