Day 5: “And then the eyes of both were opened…”

BY MARCOS GONZALES, S.J. | March 5, 2017
Today’s Readings

“And then the eyes of both were opened, and they realized…” (Gen. 3:7)

The death of Trayvon Martin marked a period of painful awakening to the systemic violence African Americans face throughout the United States. His death and the acquittal of the man who shot him would give birth to the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Similarly, Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, also served as a watershed moment in our nation, to the reality of mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex that our nation has developed.

More recently, the defense of water and protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline have drawn attention to the disregard of indigenous peoples’ lands and the treaties signed to protect them.

Yet, to those who have historically suffered under these systemic injustices, the news of these events were not moments of great awakening, but rather painful reminders of the oppression and marginalization faced across history. Change will only occur when those in power are awakened. These moments that draw attention to the plight of our brothers and sisters are essential in catalyzing a response to end the injustices that exist.

As Adam and Eve had their eyes opened in that moment of our ancestral sin, many in our nation are being awakened by the social sins that have been committed for so long. The question we must ask ourselves is: what do we do now that our eyes are open?

Reflection Questions:

  • What injustices am I growing more keenly aware of?
  • How am I being invited to respond to these injustices that I am becoming more aware of?
  • How can I ensure that I do not turn a blind eye to these injustices?
4 replies
  1. Janice Zitelman
    Janice Zitelman says:

    Sometimes we live very sheltered lives. Since I am retired and live in a rural area I am seldom exposed to the atrocities on a daily basis, making them easy to ignore. However, I believe we can change things in little ways. The very least we can do is PRAY for change of heart in those who make policy. We can also support people of color through Prison penpal ministry and volunteering in schools as mentors or with community groups like scouting and 4-H. There are also Big Brother and Big Sister programs and trained advocates for children who are under the care of children’s protective services. These little things will make a difference if many will step up and give time, care, and prayer.

  2. Glyn Conway
    Glyn Conway says:

    Thank you for today’s input. As a British man I can see parallels in the UK. I will make a greater commitment to supporting the homeless and also embracing those who feel isolated from the church because of their sexual identities. I had already made a start on this but the Course is encouraging me to go further.

  3. Jane
    Jane says:

    As someone who ministers to the incarcerated, I also feel it is my sacred duty to make sure my elected officials are aware and engaged in all aspects of criminal justice reform and to make my voice heard on behalf of the millions who suffer in our unjust system.

  4. Patti
    Patti says:

    Pray for those in power to remember that their job is to serve and not to rule. I can also read about the issues, pray for those involved, support their causes financially, and spread the word through social media and conversations.


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