you reached across ethnic boundaries
between Samaritan, Roman, and Jew.
You offered fresh sight to the blind,
and freedom to captives.
Help us to break down
the barriers in our community.
Enable us to see the reality of racism and bigotry
and free us to challenge and uproot it
from ourselves, our society, and our world.
John Bucki, SJ
Reading: The words of Father Bryan Massingale, Fordham University
White people should feel discomfort when confronted with the reality of white privilege in the United States and sit with that discomfort. Let it be agonizing, let it be overwhelming because frankly it’s agonizing for me, too. It’s overwhelming for me, too. It’s only when we become agonized enough, angry enough...that we begin to be invested in change. God has given people of color equal dignity, value, and worth. God has given L.G.B.T. people equal dignity, value, and worth. We need to catch up with God and finally be a church that can assert our belief in the equal dignity of all of God’s creatures.
Catholics and other believers have a unique role to play in the fight for justice through prayer. White supremacy and systemic racism are “spiritual disorders.” This reflects a spiritual wound, and until we have the ability to engage in deep forms of prayer, not just saying prayers but deep forms of prayer...asking the Holy Spirit to come into our lives and to change our hearts and to make us willing to see what we’d rather not see, we’re going to be caught in these perpetual cycles.
Pause for Reflection/Sharing
Litany for Those Who Aren’t Ready for Healing
By Rev Yolanda Pierce
- Let us not rush to the language of healing, before understanding the fullness of injury and the depth of the wound,
- Let us not rush to offer a bandaid when the gaping wound requires surgery and complete reconstruction.
- Let us not offer false equivalencies, thereby diminishing the particular pain being felt in a particular circumstance in a particular historical moment.
- Let us not speak of reconciliation without speaking of reparations and restoration, or how we can repair the breach and how we can restore the loss.
- Let us not rush past the loss of this mother’s child, this father’s child…someone’s beloved one.
- Let us not value property over people; let us not protect material objects while human lives hang in the balance.
- Let us not value a false peace over a righteous justice.
- Let us not be afraid to sit with the ugliness, the messiness, and the pain that is life in community together.
- Let us not offer clichés to the grieving, those whose hearts are being torn asunder.
- Let us mourn black and brown men and women, those killed extrajudicially every 24 hours.
- Let us weep at a criminal justice system, which is neither blind nor just.
- Let us call for the mourning men and the wailing women, those willing to rend their garments of privilege and ease and sit in the ashes of America’s original sin.
- Let us be silent when we don’t know what to say.
- Let us be humble and listen to the pain, rage and grief pouring from the lips of our neighbors and friends.
- Let us decrease, so that our brothers and sisters who live on the underside of history may increase.
- Let us pray with our eyes open and our feet firmly planted on the ground
- Let us listen to the shattering glass and let us smell the purifying fires, for it is the language of the unheard.
God, in your mercy, show me my complicity in injustice.
Convict me of my indifference. Forgive me when I have remained silent.
Equip me with a zeal for righteousness. Never let me grow accustomed
or acclimated to unrighteousness, Amen.