Jesus Christ is risen – alleluia!
First, congratulations to our first communicants who are receiving the Eucharist for the first time this weekend. Sharing the Eucharist with our young friends always brings a smile to my heart, it gives me hope that they will be the future of our Church. Please keep them in your prayers that they may continue to grow in their love for our God and our brother Jesus.
Probably like many of you, I have read a number of reflections on the murder conviction of Derek Chauvin. I hope these reflections can shed light onto our collective conscious as a Country. One reflection given to me comes from Sr. Rose Francois and she entitled it Inhale, Exhale, Transform. She talks about the collective exhale she felt the nation was taking and related it back to Psalm 104 (29-30): "Take away their breath, they perish and return to the dust. Send forth your spirit, they are created and you renew the face of the earth."
I for one, like many of you, was able to exhale, slowly and deeply, letting go of a breath I did not even know I had been holding for almost a year. Breathing out, we were able to finally breathe in. A breath of hope. A breath of life. A breath of love....
There does seem to be change in the air since the murder of George Floyd, witnessed by children on the street corner and the entire world on the screen. I sometimes wonder what the outcome would have been if not for the pandemic, which kept us home and glued to our screens, which showed the breath of life being squeezed out of Mr. Floyd.
As a result, white society, and social and judicial structures, seem less inclined to tolerate or ignore long-standing patterns of abuse of authority and racially based violence by those who are sworn to protect.
I refused to speak ill of all law enforcement officers, because the vast majority of them are fine people, willing to face immeasurable dangers. Please do not read this as condemning law enforcement. As you know people in my profession have faced the same challenge of being condemned because of the actions of small minority.
My belief is all of us need to show much more accountability in our day-to-day life in order for justice to flourish and for peace to prevail. Quoting Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr "Accountability does not = justice. Justice is a continuum. It is, as my father said, 'love correcting everything that stands against love.' To get to justice, we need a revolution of values."
"The conviction of one individual is a small measure of justice when we have a system that remains plagued with centuries-worth of racism in the law and in practice, I pray that this will be a catalyst for real change...." tweeted Sr. Helen Prejean and she continues by quoting Mary Elizabeth Hobgood. "We will never adequately deal with the reality of racial justice, and its generational effects, unless we name its causes and attack its sources."
As we draw closer to the Feast of Pentecost, we need to breathe in hope, love, light, peace. We must exhale all our anger, disrespect and prejudices in order to follow the Spirit’s call to co-create, to transform society, and ourselves ultimately to renew the face of the earth, respect human dignity, and honor every life.
Blessings in 2021!
Let us continue to pray for peace in our world!
In peace and courage,
Sunday, May 2,2021