Marla Cilley, creator of FlyLady.net, came up with the acronym, C.H.A.O.S.: Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome. One symptom of C.H.A.O.S. is that your house is in such disarray that you live in constant fear that someone may stop by unannounced. If you are fortunate to be given prior notice, you have just enough time to throw everything into a spare room and close the door.
In reflecting on today’s readings, I took a suggestion from a friend and read them in reverse order. Matthew 25:31-46 is often the rallying cry for Catholics and inspires us to do the Works of Mercy. However, today’s Gospel, entitled the Judgment of the Nations, calls us to a national accountability. We see this common thread run through the first reading in Leviticus when God commands Moses to speak to all of Israel.During this Lenten season, today’s Scripture can be one way in which we do an examination of conscience as a nation—a time for us to open that door to the spare room and confront the mess that has been hidden for too long. In my home state, it is anti-Black racism.
I reside within the Diocese of Richmond, the city that was once the capital and heart of the Confederacy. Dr. Tia Noelle Pratt writes, “The call is coming from inside the house.” I have discovered that we must delve into not just Black history but Black Catholic History. If not, we must be prepared for the answer when we ask, “When did I not see you, Lord?” for Jesus will reply: “When I was hungry, you denied me a place at the Eucharistic table; when I was thirsty, you served me lead-tainted water; when I was imprisoned through your convict-leasing program, you set the precedent for mass incarceration.”
- Who are the least of these in our Church and/or country today that have been ignored or forgotten?
- How can you “open the door to the spare room” and shed light on the least of these “inside the house” and bring them to the forefront?
Abby Causey received her undergraduate degree from Boston College in business administration and holds a master of theology from Saint Leo University. She is a founding member of Virginia Catholics for Racial Justice and is an emeritus board member of JustFaith Ministries. Currently, she serves as the Director of Evangelization and Youth Ministry at Church of the Holy Family in Virginia Beach, VA.