BY JOSIE SCHUMAN | June 8, 2020
Sunday’s Readings

Chaos. 

In these past few months, the world has descended into chaos with the arrival of a global pandemic, the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression, the continued struggle of our Black brothers and sisters for their lives, and the burning of cities across the nation. Tensions have been high, and people have reached their boiling point—and rightfully so. 

The murder of George Floyd is yet another devastating, senseless loss of Black life at the hands of a White police officer. As I read countless news stories and posts on social media, I thought to myself, I can’t believe this is still happening. But the reality is, racism has never ceased to exist. 

Although we have tragically lost 100,000 people to COVID-19 in just the past few months, racism has been killing Black people since the beginning of our country’s history, and White America does not seem to care. COVID-19 warranted an entire global shutdown while White privilege persists unchecked. Even now, many people are using their White privilege to condemn the violent actions of protesters without considering what provoked them. 

In the struggle for racial justice, we ought to be fueled by righteous anger. “Even as Jesus turned over tables in the Temple, he did not hurt one single person or animal being sold,” said Ian Peoples, S.J., in a Jesuit Post article. “Destruction of property is not the destruction of life. We must not cite broken windows as equal to the broken body of George Floyd.” 

Nobody wants to loot, burn, riot, or destroy cities. People have been forced to. Our brothers and sisters are hurt. They are outraged. They are desperate. 

The very foundation of this country has created the conditions that allow this violence to occur. For centuries, Black people have resiliently fought for every one of their rights: to go to school, to work, to vote, to jog, to play, to breathe, to live. Yet, they continue to be silenced, oppressed, and murdered by the White majority. So what can we expect in response?

Amidst this chaos, I have struggled to find God. However, in this week’s readings, he seems to address us directly: “Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11-13). 

God calls us to live in peace. But first, our nation must mend our historically-entrenched ways of perpetuating racism to benefit White citizens and oppress Black citizens. We must mend a system in which our Black brothers and sisters are killed at the very hands of those who are sworn to protect them. We must encourage one another to have difficult conversations about race, power, and White privilege that lead to radical anti-racist action. 

We must agree with one another that Black Lives DO Matter. 

Only then can we escape the pit of despair that our country seems to fall further into every day to begin to encounter what God truly desires for us: 

Peace. 

5 replies
  1. Avatar
    Theresa Gale says:

    When will we stop asking the question, Where is God in all this? God, through his son, Jesus, told us exactly where he is — suffering with our black and brown brothers and sisters, marching side-by-side with all who are horrified and seek justice, and wishing as we are that those in power would “wake-up” and see their evil ways. I experience God shedding tears and saying, “Why oh why have you forsaken me?”

    As James Finley recently said, ” God is it presence that protects us from nothing yet inexplicably sustains us in all things. God depends on us to be there for and with others.” We are the vessels of God’s Love and justice and mercy. Let’s not ask where God is, rather, where are we in fulfilling Gods “ask” of each of us. God depends on us!

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    SIXTO GARCIA says:

    I fully agree with everything said in this post – Black Lives do matter – but Latino / Hispanic, Asiatic, Muslim lives ALSO do matter – Racism does not play favorites – Racism is all-inclusive –

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Bruce Weaver says:

    Before Mass, we have been praying our “Family Prayer” which includes asking for an end to racism for 20 years. How did we expect God would answer that prayer? Think about that. It has to come from white people, like you and I rising up, speaking up, and lifting up. It is not their problem. It is our problem.

    Reply

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