Juneteenth Holiday 2023: Generosity and Justice on the Rise

We have been meditating on generosity and its roots with multiple rich meanings—I would even say lush meanings. 

Acts of kindness to fellow humans. By RY Loves on YouTube.

How the word includes genesis and generativity, thus birth and creativity, cosmogenesis and cosmology.  How it includes genus or kind, and being kind to kin and “all our relations.”  How it includes, therefore, compassion and caring. And justice because in the Biblical tradition, as Eckhart puts it, “compassion means justice” and “compassion is where peace and justice kiss.” 

How generosity works for equality and unity which love makes happen. And how it invokes the repeated teachings from the Scriptures about how we are all royal persons called to make the “kingdom/queendom of God” happen on this Earth (“as it is in heaven”).

How generosity is about magnanimity as opposed to pusillanimity—a big soul and big heart as opposed to a puny soul or heart. As Aquinas puts it, “everything in nature whether animate or inanimate is inclined to accomplish an action that is commensurate with its power.” But pusillanimity is a surrendering of one’s power and a refusal to use one’s power.  Such “burying of our talents is a more grievous offense than presumption, since thereby a person withdraws from good things.” 

In this beautiful, powerful video, we hear wisdom from Dr. Maya Angelou. “The brute, the bigot, and the batterer are all children of God whether they know it or not.” Lencha Sanchez on YouTube

So our generosity and magnanimity extend to ourselves.  It’s not just others who are “royal persons” but each of us is, too, and we need to learn our own nobility.  Hopefully we have had parents or teachers or clergy, writers or singers, friends, lovers or partners who teach us this truth. 

So much destruction and hatred in the world comes from wounded people (Hitler beaten daily by his father; a certain ex-president instructed by his mentor Roy Kohn never to admit he is wrong, as well as to hate himself by his KKK-practicing father.) who know nothing of the teachings of the “royal person.”  A “royal person” is aware of his/her own dignity on the one hand and responsibility on the other for making compassion/justice/ happen.  And this work for justice “tickles God through and through.”  (Eckhart)

“What is Juneteenth, and why is it important? – Karlos K. Hill and Soraya Field Fiorio.” By TED-Ed.

This Juneteenth holiday weekend is a reminder of the price humans pay when slavery, hatred and control take precedence in an economic or political system.  But how the truth of our inherent dignity moves a people to rise up, demand justice, expel internalized oppression and self-hatred, and put their own beauty forward. 

A Blessed Juneteenth to all.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Passion For Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart, pp. 417-545.  

And Fox, A Spirituality Named Compassion.

And Fox, Original Blessing, pp. 265ff.

To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner image: “Juneteenth Celebration at Emancipation Park 1880.” Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

Queries for Contemplation

What does Juneteenth 2023 mean to you this season?

Recommended Reading

Passion for Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart

Matthew Fox’s comprehensive translation of Meister Eckhart’s sermons is a meeting of true prophets across centuries, resulting in a spirituality for the new millennium. The holiness of creation, the divine life in each person and the divine power of our creativity, our call to do justice and practice compassion–these are among Eckhart’s themes, brilliantly interpreted and explained for today’s reader.
“The most important book on mysticism in 500 years.”  — Madonna Kolbenschlag, author of Kissing Sleeping Beauty Goodbye.  

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6 thoughts on “Juneteenth Holiday 2023: Generosity and Justice on the Rise”

  1. Avatar

    Another word for kingdom, that is nonpatriarchal, relational and appropriate for your thoughts on generosity, is ‘kindom’.

    1. Avatar

      How generosity works for equality and unity which love makes happen. And how it invokes the repeated teachings from the Scriptures about how we are all royal persons called to make the “kingdom/queendom of God” happen on this Earth (“as it is in heaven”).
      -YES. Thank you. Loving this deep dive into the word generosity

  2. Avatar

    Today’s DM on Juneteenth 2023 including your words, “So much destruction and hatred in the world (throughout human history) comes from wounded people… “ and the words of Maya Angelou in the enclosed video “I Am Human/We are all children of God… “ remind me that all of us in our shared human ancestry are still healing the wounds of our past ancestors within our heart/souls (in reincarnation terms our past lives and karma). God’s Spirit of Divine Love~Wisdom wants us to Compassionately continue Loving, healing, forgiving, and justice building… of ourselves and our sisters and brothers for our past and present transgressions and guilt in the eternal evolution of our souls with one another within our co-Creator~Source’s Eternal Spirit of Loving Diverse Oneness….

  3. Avatar

    In the face of denial of racism, especially in the South, the spread of ever more restrictive voting “laws”, and the forbidding of any teaching of true history in Florida and elsewhere, it is even more important for us to join with our families of color and of all our relations who are being oppressed. And, as Maya Angelou reminds us, we need to extend compassion and generosity of heart also to the oppressors.

    1. Avatar
      Carol Vaccariello

      Yes, thank you, Sue, for mentioning the importance of Maya Angelou’s statement concerning our, “need to extend compassion and generosity of heart also to the oppressors.”

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