As a child, I remember battling chickenpox. During that time my family had recently gifted me a children’s toy called “The Full Armor of God.” Despite being sick and upset that I couldn’t go to the mall with my dad and older brother Michael, I was comforted by putting my armor on, staying home, and doing the right thing to keep others safe. When I reflect over the readings of today and the season we have been in as a people, both domestically and abroad, I am reminded of this armor.
We are living during a time where a pandemic plagues us. Racial, social, and political unrest also plague our world. What do we do? How do we react? How do we approach each day? How do we work toward being active allies for our friends of marginalized communities? How do we promote civil discourse and bipartisan efforts in our political landscape? How do we advance conversations on injustice and amplify the voice of the silenced from our privilege points?
As I prepare each day to follow Christ’s example of peace and justice, I find myself placing on the Helmet of Salvation, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shinguards of Peace, the Belt of Truth, the Shield of Faith, and carrying the Spirit of the Word Sword, as I did as a child. This armor is figurative, as I seek to be a soldier in an army of peace and justice. I know I am part of a network of many who can be weighed down by the magnitude of the fight for social justice, however, as we look to today’s readings, we must be bold enough to call for action, fight against injustice, and uphold what we know to be right according to the Gospel. It may not always feel good while we are going through it, but the glory comes in doing the work.
I ask you to look at the ways that you can follow Christ’s example. It might be as simple as wearing a mask and socially distancing. It may be sharing your story or speaking up to bring other perspectives to the conversation. It may be silencing yourself in spaces or denouncing racism and extremist views. I do not have all the answers, but I do know that if we are grounded in the Gospel within these efforts, we can see a just world coming over the horizon.
- How are you called to follow Christ’s example of peace and justice today?
Christian Sanders currently serves as the assistant director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Saint Ignatius High School and is the director of the REACHing MAGIS program. A 2010 Saint Ignatius alumnus, he has returned to his alma mater with the mission of building on its traditions of excellence while fostering a more representative and receptive community. Christian is a 2014 graduate of Marietta College, with graduate studies in progress at the University of Dayton. He is a resident of Warrensville Heights, OH, and a proud father of 3.