BY LUCAS SHARMA, S.J. | July 30, 2020

In John’s Gospel, the people in charge have had enough: it’s time to stone Jesus because he’s chosen to cast his lot with the “out crowd,” the marginalized members in the community. He stands with the poor, not with the power and authority of the dominant oppressor.

out crowd, healthcare

I worked at a dialysis unit in the Bronx, meeting with patients struggling through their dialysis treatment. None of them were white. All of them were poor. They played the game of life with structural disadvantages and discrimination at every checkpoint. Now, dependent on a machine for life, they exclaimed the presence of Jesus who rescues—who continues to cast his lot with them.

Sitting with them, I couldn’t help but wonder who I am in the story. More times than not, I’m the one throwing the stone, making their burdens worse. My judgments and prejudices remain hidden from sight, yet I’m haunted by my privilege. I’m the one who needs them, it’s not the other way around. While they try to prolong death with one more dialysis treatment, I’m called to conversion—to hear God’s voice amidst a hope that eludes my privilege. I’m called to stand where Jesus is standing. For as Jesus knew so intimately, it is when I stand with the out crowd that I’m one step closer to the Kingdom of God.

Reflection Questions

  • Where in my community do racial injustice and healthcare disparities exist?
  • Who do I stand with in my community? Where do I cast my lot? Who do I direct stones at in my community?
  • How am I called to conversion?

2 replies
  1. Avatar
    Mr Anon says:

    It is heartbreaking but statistics explain why this borough is like this, for instance the Bronx is one of the poorer borough’s out of the 5 where Spanish is spoken more than English with Hispanic or Latino making up for around 50% of the population in the borough and Black people roughly 30% this is according to the residents that live there and census. If you also take in to account frontline workers which come top in jobs they work in especially healthcare from the Bronx you are then increasing the highly chance of making a local resident ill comparing to another part of the country and mix in poverty which might be stemmed from mainly educational, living conditions or low paying work that affects all because poverty does not discriminate. What you put could also be misleading depending on where you work in the Bronx because for example South Bronx is about 9% white and around 66% for Hispanic, Latino and Black… so the chances of treating a white person would be rare indeed comparing to races which has significant high population numbers. This has nothing to do with privilege or prejudice and more to do with education and keeping kids focused especially after high school when entering college this is the problem, this could possibly be peer pressure from friends or even how the local community portray disinterest in trying to achieve better goals for the current or future generations…. it’s like deja vu and false blame and it will never fix something that does not want to be fixed without the community coming forward with obtainable and realistic goals with the correct unbiased mindset to achieve something that will better the lives for all that currently have to live in circumstances that are not good. God Bless

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *