Good morning By My Side friends. Welcome to June 2020 and our new normal for this summer. I hope this post finds you all well and safe. The news these last weeks has turned from Covid – 19 to racial injustice. These are difficult, sad and emotion – filled days for many of us. The killing of George Floyd led to intense anger and frustration – no doubt as horrible acts always should.
I realized that the anger expressed by the black community was because they live it daily, that somewhere in the heart of this act was a horrible expression of malice and ambivalence reflective of the daily horror they face in their lives: prejudice and racism. Injustice that isn’t always violent and overt but more often quiet, accepted degrading of human beings created in God’s image.
The deep injustice of Floyd’s death has the world finally paying attention to the pain and suffering it is causing. Prejudice is evil and we should be angry that it exists in our world.
As I search my heart and seek our Lord’s guidance to help me understand what I can do and how I can think correctly about the depth of racism and prejudice that exist, I want to love the Lord with all my heart and mind and continue to love my neighbour as myself. (Matthew 22: 37-39). I want to have the eyes of God to see what he sees, knowing how He looks at the heart of another, not the outward appearance. (1 Samuel 16:7). I want to be angry at the prejudice and every callous disregard for the worth of each human person and the life God has given them. I want to be angry but not sin. (Ephesians 4:26).
I would invite us all to seek the Lord’s wisdom on how we can be part of the solution and where we, you and I may be part of the problem. Whether we have hurt a friend or been complicit in racial injustice. Humbly admitting wrong has great power.
Micah, an ancient prophet in Israel, reminds us that injustice ends when we begin to follow the simple wisdom and guidance that God always offers when Jesus shows us that the injustice we experience in our world can only end by bringing us together in it’s resolution. “Act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God”.
Our relationship with God is merciful based upon our acceptance of the spiritual guidance that comes with it. True justice is something that requires all of us to participate in.
Pope Francis recently explained to us regarding justice when he stated that we need to extend the right to life to all people, even those who don’t respect it, so that the door to being reconciled with God and others can always remain open for anyone to pass through.
God’s way is not ineffective, it’s the only way that really works. By always walking humbly with our God, we can learn to act justly by loving tenderly as we are loved and to show mercy to others as it is patiently shown to us.
This seems like a simple process but it is more often ignored than followed because many people would rather satisfy their immediate desires for condemnation and punishment, then humble themselves to the effects of love and mercy that take longer to show their results.
Walking humbly with God is not an inactive response, it allows love and mercy to move beyond satisfying our own desires for immediate justice towards actively fighting for universal justice for everyone.
Only then, will the injustice that we inflict upon ourselves and each other end – as we walk towards the peace and reconciliation that our Lord continues to offer us.
As few wise words from a special priest as you consider MJ’s “Food for Thought” this June 2020.
May our Lord’s certain peace be with you in these uncertain times.
Love MJ xo