No ONE is superior to anyone else. There is no such thing as a being SUPREME to anyone else. One only “thinks” s/he is a SUPREMACIST.
We are all equal in God’s eyes —- there is not black or white, American, European, or Asian — there is not Catholic, Jew, Muslim — when it comes to who is # 1. We are all equal.
Last weekend’s horror in Charlottesville, VA unfolded as most preachers prepared for weekend worship — in most churches and places of worship there may have been a moment of prayer and an expression of disbelief — but, in most places, weekend worship was planned.
NOT SO THIS WEEKEND …. the horror of last weekend has been followed by statements from political leaders that have added fuel to the fire and only made things worse. This weekend, I CANNOT IMAGINE A TRUE RELIGIOUS LEADER who will not speak to what is happening in our country!!! The WORD OF GOD must come to bear on the events of the world. Our faith cannot be expressed or lived in a vacuum. We cannot pray unaware of what is happening around us.
In Isaiah [56:1, 6-7] God tells us that his house is to be called a house of prayer for all peoples. God tells us that the “foreigners” who come to him … will be brought to the mountain of the Lord.”
Paul speaking to the Romans — speaks to the GENTILES as apostles to the Gentiles.
In Matthew [15:21-28] Jesus speaks to the CANAANITE WOMAN — responding to her plea for pity — rewarded her faith — and said that he was sent for all the [lost] sheep.
This is not a weekend to think about monuments and the removal of monuments — this is not a weekend to balance history —- these days are to come. But, we can have NO FUTURE discussion without believing …..
I am no better — and no less than — any other person.
My faith and my Church are no better — and no less than — any other faith or Church or mosque or synagogue.
We are all equal in God’s eyes.
AND, anyone who tries to put another down — to say that they are inferior to me or my group or my beliefs is WRONG.
Black, white, Hispanic, Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Muslim, Democrat, Republican, Independent, recent immigrant or long-standing family — we are all equal.
I believe we are at a unique time in our nation’s history. Our President speaks bizarre words that are dividing us — fanning the flames. Nazis and Neo-Nazis do not stand for anything that will make us a BETTER nation. WHITE — OR BLACK — Supremacists do not live as if we are all equal. Anyone who incites violence — anyone who pokes the bear — is not of God.
Villages and towns with centuries of history were built around a city square with a church in a prime place — the church was the center of town — not literally and symbolically. The Church must claim that space again — by speaking and living with moral authority.
As Roman Catholics, we must admit that at times we have added to this sense of “me better than you.” We taught that there was no salvation outside the ROMAN Catholic Church. Any other “church communion” was a Church only in a sense that it shared in the apostolic nature of the ROMAN Catholic Church. We had a special road to heaven — as the ONE HOLY, CATHOLIC, AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH.
Yes, the President, the Pope, the Governor — they have special privileges due to their role in society — they have special claims to respect. BUT, as MEN AND WOMEN — they are no better than me or you. PRIVILEGE DOES NOT COME FROM THE ACCIDENTS OF BIRTH.
Fear of losing what someone thought they had — privilege, special rights — is driving people to do violent things. Losing a sense of being in the majority, is causing some people to try to protect something they never had.
Finding someone to BLAME for my problems and misfortunes is another explanation as to why people do unreasonable things.
Why would God make me — or you — better than someone else? Why would God make me less than you?
If the Church — people of faith — do not lead, who will? Will it be the men and women with the Confederate or Nazi flags? Will it be those who yell, “The Jews will not replace us!” or “Blood and Soil, Blood and Soil.” Will it be the PRESIDENT who tries to assign blame equally to everyone?
It MUST BE US.
As we pray for a cessation of violence — as we pray for calm in our streets — our hearts must be set on the truth. NO ONE is superior to another. Race, Creed, gender, nation of origin, sexual orientation, skin color —— mean nothing to God. Why should they matter to us?