BY JOSIE DIEBOLD | June 11, 2018
Sunday’s Readings

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus’ relatives hear about what he is up to and assert: “He is out of his mind.” 

Jesus did things that were unpopular, unconventional, and unacceptable in the prevailing systems of power. He threatened the status quo. So, though we can, thousands of years later, reverence Jesus as fully human and fully divine, I’m sure that, at that time, the narrative—“He is out of his mind”—was not altogether uncommon.

Nearly two years ago, I became involved in Showing Up for Racial Justice, an organization that organizes white communities to dismantle white supremacy. I came to activities whenever I could, including canvasses. Canvassing—going door-to-door to have conversations—is a highly powerful organizing strategy. And it terrifies me. Though I don’t consider myself to be hugely socially anxious, canvassing evokes feelings of fear and apprehension. The first time I canvassed, every pair of stairs seemed like quicksand. I would have been relieved to be swallowed up. When my family and friends heard what I was up to, they (unlike Jesus’ relatives) thought it was great. I, however, was thinking: Am I out of my mind?” I was consistently choosing to do something uncomfortable and scary. Did I need to?

The short answer is an unequivocal yes.

As a white woman, I can skirt around conversations on racism with no trouble. I need to lean into them. Being uncomfortable tells me: “You’re pushing against the status quo and systems of power; you’re attempting to acknowledge and dismantle structures that have advantaged you and dehumanized so many.” It’s uncomfortable—and necessary. And I recognize that, yes, we will make mistakes, but with accountability to people of color and as people of faith, we need to keep going.

Josie Diebold

Josie Diebold is a graduate of Canisius College (2009) and a former Jesuit Volunteer (Houston 09-10, Syracuse 10-11). She is currently a PhD student at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work and is also a member of the leadership team for Buffalo, NY’s chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice. Josie enjoys being an aunt to three awesome kiddos and doing cross fit, in addition to running, swimming, and biking (all very slowly).    

2 replies
  1. Joseph Clavijo says:

    Exactly! I have learned that, as Pope Francis has said, reconciliation requires sacrifice. It’s just not enough to acknowledge and apologize to people of color for the centuries of racial discrimination we as a society have put upon them. Reconciliation requires action and sacrifice, much like Jesus example on the cross.
    This theme of reconciliation applies also to Care for Creation, Environmental Steeardship requires action and sacrifice to right injustices our society has put upon our earthly home, and in doing so, we at once are standing with the poor who ultimately bare the brunt of societal injustice.
    So if people ask me… have you lost your mind, I say God’s love for me, in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, has in fact caused me to do so!
    The presiding bishop of our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church – Most Rev. MichaelCurry, of the Episcopal Branch – The Jesus Movement likes to say.. if it’s not about love, it’s not about God.
    This story was about God’s love moving in and through us, always seeking the good of the other.
    Praise God from whom all good things come.

    Reply
  2. Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Once upon a time in the historical past Society fixed ethics and morality once and for all. With changing times new people are invited to demonstrate their God-given talents to serve the present and future generations with new solutions through their dynamic contributions.

    Reply

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