Rise Up | St. Peter’s Invitation to Anti-Racist Action

Today’s readings

It feels odd hearing Peter chastise the crowd in today’s reading from Acts about how they denied “the Holy and Righteous One” whom God raised from the dead. Really Peter? While Peter does not out himself for doing the same, he qualifies their actions as done out of ignorance, giving them the opportunity to recognize the impact of their denial and to do something about it. It’s not a comfortable invitation. 

Today’s gospel reading reveals that the Risen Christ took time to open the minds of the first disciples and help them understand how the scriptures revealed him as the Messiah. Clearly, they all had various degrees of ignorance. Peter, to his credit, more than made reparation for the harm his ignorance and inaction caused. He became the “rock” on whom Jesus’s movement and message expanded–a true disciple in active solidarity to the end.

In Peter’s uncomfortable exhortation, there’s no room for any in the crowd to explain their intentions or give excuses about what happened on that fateful Friday. By prioritizing Jesus and those Jesus prioritizes (the oppressed, brokenhearted, captives, and mourners of Isaiah 61:1-2), Peter models the type of leadership we need to see in creating anti-racist institutions, our Church included. Lamentably, the very document that the US Conference of Bishops put out regarding racism in 2018 prioritizes the comfort of those who are the primary transgressors of the sin of racism (i.e. white people). The document is “so inadequate as to be virtually useless,” claims Catholic theologian Fr. Bryan Massingale. 

I’m certainly one of those in today’s proverbial crowd being exhorted. Do I need the Risen Christ to open my mind and heart through trainings and teachings on anti-racism? Absolutely. Is it enough to be called out and receive a training or two? No. If I thought so, I would be a “liar”, as St. Paul states in today’s second reading. Repentance and conversion from white supremacy culture is not a one-and-done thing. It requires prayer, study, action, and community. For whoever is faithful to these pillars, St. Paul says “the love of God is truly perfected in [them].”

How might you need support in your ever-evolving resistance of white supremacy culture?


For inspiration on how an intentional faith community defines and lives into the aforementioned pillars, click here.

For inspiration on resisting white supremacy through a faith lens, see public theologian, Eric Martin’s, recently published book on faith against fascism.

1 reply
  1. Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    Andrew Hanson-Quintana poses a great question “How might you need support in your ever-evolving resistance of white supremacy culture?”
    I need to act and speak up in regard to issues about white supremacy. How can I offer to others the support and encouragement that is needed in the midst of the conversation or action that is taking place? It is important for me to ask Jesus and the Holy Spirit to be with me as I begin and then ask the Holy Spirit to assit me in my words that come forth from the direction of the Holy Spirit. One thing I can do better is to listen to the words of others with attention to what the Holy Spirit might say to comfort/conjole/correct points of the conversation so that we may live with peace and goodness in a society stuggling for that peace.


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