For a white American like me there is no such thing as “heritage not hate.” Whether or not we are waving confederate flags, white inheritance is a legacy of colonization and violence perpetrated against indigenous Americans, black people, immigrants, and other marginalized communities. To deny this is an active choice to silence the voices of those people who our ancestors oppressed and who are still harmed by white dominance today. To acknowledge racism as our inheritance does not mean utter condemnation. Actually, telling the truth is a step towards creating a new way of being.
God will not use you in ways that you do not permit. God wants you and God created you in God’s image, autonomy and all. God calls us into relationship that is filled with mutual respect. God desires to fill your heart with love. God made you, God knows you, God believes you.
How do men under constant supervision obtain illegal drugs? Most likely the drugs are smuggled in by the prison employees tasked with their care. How is it possible for inmates to alter their state to the point of death without anyone noticing? The obvious answer is neglect. Why does an intervention come only at the point of removing a dead body from the cell? This is our reality because we live in a state that values retribution over restoration.
This question from this mornings Gospel asked by the Pharisees of Jesus is not really a question but more of a statement with a question tacked on as a social grace. Us blind? No way. Right? We couldn’t be. We’re people of faith after all. Spiritual blindness is a common affliction, something we all share….
Jesus’ invites us to examine whether the tradition of the elders as expressed through law lives into our call as children of God. It extends far beyond our religious practice into or personal and civic life.
We know that here, in the midst of the difficult lessons and obscurity, there is meaning and value. Jesus’ teachings offer us truth that is loving, liberating, and life-giving. This sort of truth, the words of eternal life, while powerful is not simple or easy. If it was, well, we wouldn’t need to be here.
“There is in this world no such force as the force of a person determined to rise. The human soul cannot be permanently chained.” These are the words of civil rights activist and scholar W. E. B. Du Bois, whom we commemorate today as a holy man. He was the first black man to graduate…