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December 29, 2014

One of Us

By America, The National Catholic Review 

Our faith calls us to see Christ in others—not always an easy task. But seeing ourselves as made in Christ’s image can also be a challenge. Some young Catholics may find help in a newly released Bible. The African-American Youth Bible depicts Jesus as an African-American man and offers commentary and artwork that are meant to put Scripture into relevant context for young black Catholics. The project, developed over four years, was spearheaded by Bishop John H. Ricard of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla., president of the National Black Catholic Congress, and St. Mary’s Press, which published the Bible. “In the Bible, it speaks of slavery and it seeks to explain more fully what it means to the history of African-Americans in the United States,” Bishop Ricard told Catholic News Service.

Today many young people struggle to understand the relevance of Scripture, and this Bible may help them to make meaningful connections between faith and real life. “The Eucharist calls us to see everyone as our brothers and sisters,” Pope Francis reminded us during a general audience, “and to see in them the face of Christ.” As the United States continues to grapple with its legacy of racial injustice and persistent inequality in our society, this new Bible may prove a valuable learning tool and jumping-off point for discussion of race and faith among all Catholics, regardless of background, ethnicity or age. During the Advent season, the project serves as an important reminder that, even as we wait for the birth of Christ, he is already present in each of us every day.

View this article on americamagazine.org