trayvon-squareBY JACQUELINE WYMANFebruary 26, 2015

Today marks the 3 year anniversary of the death of 17 year old Trayvon Martin. Trayvon’s death sparked a dialogue in America that continues still today as cases of unarmed children and adults of color killed by authorities remain in the headlines. Critics have questioned: Is equality still an American ideal? Is the United States accepting of minorities?

On this day, in honor of the life of Trayvon, a 17 year old boy who looked just the same inside as you and I, I would like to take the conversation from the macro to the micro. We could talk about how the United States may be inclusive or exclusive or perhaps prone to violence in the name of security, but what good is questioning the country without questioning ourselves, too?

Lent is a time of reflection and repentance. We, as Christians, witness God’s unconditional love for us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and are called to repent and be perfect as God is perfect (MT 5:48). Let’s take this time during Lent to ask ourselves the following questions: How am I being inclusive? How am I welcoming the ‘strangers’ in my life?

Ignorance is ugly. We have seen and still see its effects. But the message that Easter brings is that of forgiveness and redemption. We can move beyond ignorance. We are forgiven of our transgressions, but in return we are challenged to be better, to be perfect, by following the path Christ has paved for us. Will you accept the challenge this Lent to love more?

I lift up Trayvon today and all people who have been killed or harmed while unarmed. I pray that Love will always prevail. It is my hope that the sum of our individual reflection on inner bias, hate, and quickness to violence will amount to a great, more loving future. God’s love for me shown through Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection gives me faith to believe in such a future.

“Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey. To those who suffer, God does not provide arguments which explain everything; rather, his response is that of an accompanying presence, a history of goodness which touches every story of suffering and opens up a ray of light.”

-Pope Francis

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