Sunday’s Gospel reading is set in Matthew, Chapter 10, where Jesus gives instructions to the disciples who are sent forth to proclaim the good news. He states: take little with you, speak truth to power (and, when doing so, proclaim on the rooftops!), and allow others to take care of you along the journey. Each of these tasks asks for a vulnerability that is inherent to our humanity, but pushes against what our society deems as important. Instead of setting out alone, we are told to lean on each other. Instead of keeping quiet to preserve our privilege, we are told to proclaim loudly that injustice is taking place in and around us.
Today, to be sent forth to proclaim the Gospel message is to first ask ourselves “who in our global community is in pain?” The answer right now is communities of color in the U.S., who are grieving loved ones at a disproportionate rate due to both COVID-19 and police brutality. The pain and grief remind us that the systems that exist around us were never meant to benefit everyone, and that the social sin of racism points to a hierarchical structure in the U.S. that negates the Imago Dei, the image of God. To believe in the Imago Dei is to firmly shout from the rooftops that the humanity of the person standing next to us is as precious and sacred as our own. God lives within us, and God lives among those who we surround ourselves with. As part of the Imago Dei, we as a society cannot leave folks behind, as there is no such thing as a throw-away person. Our follow up question, then, must be, what do we proclaim as truth when we stand among strangers? Among friends and family? Are those answers the same?
Abbie Amico lives in the Boston area and works as a guidance and social/emotional counselor at Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Prior to accepting this position she attended Saint Louis University, where she studied theology, and Boston College, where she received her master’s degree in theology and social work.