“That They May All Be One”
READINGS: Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
This Sunday, we celebrate “Corpus Christi”, the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ; the One Bread and the One Cup that we share, even though we are so many—“Gentile or Jew, servant or free, woman or man”—all in the one Lord, Jesus Christ. This is the will of God for humanity. But just as in the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve followed the counsel of Satan, not to worry about what God has said but to be their own gods, man has continued to have issues with God’s will, and is filled with the desire to exert his own will upon God’s creation. And so, instead of the “One Cup, One Body in which there are no Jews nor Gentiles, Christendom, way back in 1455, decided that slavery was a perfect weapon that will serve as a natural deterrent and a Christianizing influence for the conversion of sub-Sahara Africa, and encouraged Europeans “…to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, subdue… and reduce their persons [Sub-Saharan Africans] to perpetual slavery.” The problem with this decision is that, it is nearly impossible to vanquish and subdue another human, in perpetuity, without becoming monstrous at some point in time. Unfortunately, not everything that is faced in life can be changed, but truth be told, nothing in life can be changed until it is faced.
As Americans, the time has come when we face reality and speak truth to conscience, that America is not white, it was never white, and will never be white. It is made up of Caucasians (all those from European nations), Indians, Africans, Spaniards, and many countries in-between. The invention of the words “White” and “Black” was propelled by the desire for class distinction; with “White” being a metaphor of power, dominance, and superiority, and “Black” a metaphor for inferior humans to be vanquished and subdued, in perpetuity. “Black”, therefore is a word and color that diminishes and desensitizes the brain as to the quality of humanness in another human. In the creative mind of our Creator, there is no degree of humanness in humanity; what we have is distinctions in heritage and culture and these are not imputable to color; heritage and culture belong to ethnicity. So we have Italian Americans, German Americans, African Americans, etc. not Black Americans, Brown Americans, or White Americans. The time has come for us to truly embrace the words of our constitutions, that “All men are created equal and endowed by their creator with inalienable rights to liberty, self-determination and the pursuit of happiness”.
Our role as Christians is to help build, what the Bible calls “The new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). Righteousness will dwell upon our land when we insist that people be held accountable for systemic racism and bigotry; when we fight against any system in which zip codes, color, race, gender, religious affiliation etc., inhibit and prohibit opportunities and possibilities, and create ceilings in the fulfillment of God-given potentials and abilities; when we insist that justice and fairness be for all and that our judicial system hold responsible and accountable all those who perpetuate egregious acts of murder, oppression, repression and subjugation against others; when we cry out every time our legal system shields and hinders prosecution and accountability by collaborating, conniving and colluding to distort, dislodge, and eventually dismiss evidence in the protection of those who commit crimes of “mans-inhumanity-to-man”. We need to become the voice of the voiceless; those who are being choked to death because of political greed, economic hardships, and bullying; those whose backgrounds have caused their back to be on the ground, the margins of our society, the most vulnerable among us, and the pushovers of our capitalistic system.
Our journey to creating this world in which righteousness dwells needs to start as an inward conversion; a personal conviction that all men are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights; a personal resolve to respect all peoples as children of God most high. It is very hard for us to lead this call if, in our own closets, we are as guilty as society is charged. May the good Lord give us the courage to bear witness to the dignity of every human being, to heal the pains of discrimination and racism, to restore hope to humanity and to uproot this “man’sinhumanity-to-man” from our society! It takes the silence of a few good men and women for evil to thrive.