For the past few months, I have seen parallels in the daily readings with the fight for racial justice and police abolishment. Specific words and stories bring me into the midst of protests, moments of brutality, powerful anger, and opportunities to engage. This week’s readings are not any different; the psalmist is crying out, “lifeless and without water” and “lifting up my hands” calling upon the Lord’s name for salvation. How often have we seen images of Black men and women and protesters in the streets, totally disarmed, hands raised, still beaten without regard for their humanity? And yet, they are still in the streets, demonstrating for radical change and basic rights of all, not just for themselves.
How are you and I denying our own lives and taking up our crosses? Jesus is always calling us to be more than what our individualistic, American society values. To stop being selfish, to live for more than the next little validation on social media. Stop thirsting for others and let your soul thirst for God. See God in the face of the person sitting next to you, in the annoying habits of your co-worker, in your children as they ask another question, and especially in those we ignore because we see them as less.
We need to stop letting ourselves be duped by many of the prominent voices in our world. We need to take some of our anger, our weariness, and our sacrifice and walk strongly with our cross. It is not easy, but to survive, we need to strive for the Glory that comes from God. Today I am going to start losing a bit more of my proud self and fill it with the voice of Jesus—I hope you do the same.
Allyson Petry is the director of Nazareth Farm, a small, intentional Catholic community living and working in rural West Virginia. When not behind a desk, she enjoys joining her staff on home repair projects and visiting neighbors.