In the Transfiguration, Jesus appears dazzlingly as all colors.
White light is a mixture of all colors. His disciples saw him for who and what he really was, and is. Jesus is all colors.
Jesus speaks with Moses and Elijah, something like a presidential candidate being visited by George Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr. A theophany thunders: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
How can our community heal the scars and scandals of slavery, Jim Crow, ongoing racial inequality and now the mind-boggling litany of young African American men dying at the hands of police who are supposed to protect and serve? How can our community possibly eradicate racism?
The first step is to listen to Jesus. Realize we are all one in him.
It’s beautiful to behold how the United States is already becoming all colors. Four states are already majority minority (Hawaii, California, New Mexico, Texas, along with Washington, DC). The whole country will be majority minority by 2040. Children already are majority minority. More than 50 percent of all Americans aged five years or younger are non-white.[i]
Jesus isn’t “white.” The Lord is all colors. Our human family comes in all shades of skin tone. We are all one in Christ, the community of all colors.
[i] Cf http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/08/reflecting-a-racial-shift-78-counties-turned-majority-minority-since-2000/ and http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/07/06/its-official-the-us-is-becoming-a-minority-majority-nation
- Ask your friends if they realize how rapidly demographic shifts are changing the tone and texture of the United States.
- Is there such a thing as race? Biologically, no — but what is taken for real is real in its consequences. What are some of those consequences? How have they served to harm or make invisible entire groups of people?
- Spend some time in Ignatian contemplative prayer. Imagine yourself as a member of a persecuted and oppressed minority, or as one of the 60 million refugees in the world today. Talk with Jesus about what you imagine your experience would be like and how your life would change.
Fr. Rick Malloy, S.J., is the author of “A Faith that Frees: Catholic Matters for the 21st Century “ and “Being on Fire: Top Ten Essentials of Catholic Faith.” He is the University Chaplain at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter at @FrMalloy .