The picture is of my parish’s sanctuary during a prayer service held in July of 2020. The title of the service, Action from Lamentation, Fury and Hope expresses my feelings, too. The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd call me to again grapple with the dangerous reality of being a Black person in the United States. The pandemics of racial injustice, COVID-19, and religious and political divisions are intertwined with lamentation and fury. I am both angry and sad that many of our Church and civic leaders do not see that Black Lives Matter. I am disheartened when I hear that yet another BIPOC life has ended in violence. I mourn the reality that COVID-19 has taken the lives of so many, especially a disproportionate number of our Black and Brown sisters and brothers.
However, I do believe that God calls us to hope for a future where we are invited to continue to build the Kingdom of God here on earth. That means we are invited to take action. I hope to spend my Lent by praying for and writing to 40 Catholic bishops and civic leaders. I will invite them to read prayerfully Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” I will ask them to use their positions of authority to speak out against racial violence.
In the readings today, both Isaiah and Jesus remind us that our titles or jobs will not get us special rewards. We need humility as we consider our own needs in the light of our brothers and sisters who are ignored and forgotten by society. I will endeavor to do all of this with love, for God is love. And God desires that we will show love to all, even to those who do not love us.
- How are you called to take action for justice during this Lenten season?
- How can you consider the needs of those who are ignored and forgotten by society in your justice work?
- To whom are you called to show love this Lent?
Boreta Singleton is director of faculty formation at St. Peter’s Prep High School in Jersey City, NJ. She is a member of the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Manhattan where she is a member of the racial justice ministry, the music ministry, and is a spiritual director.