Where is the Risen Lord in the racism we’ve been confronting for so long? Jesus conquered sin and death as He rose from the dead. But his wounds were still there when He showed up to his disciples. In the beginning of the fourth week, Eric Couto reminds us that our hope and joy as Christians comes not from naivete, but from our faith that Jesus walks with us, as we transform the painful realities of our world.
If it’s US vs THEM and we are intent on scoring points, we are not making antiracist progress.
Jesus asks a direct question of his disciples, “Who do the people say that I am? Who do you say that I am?” Ian Peoples, SJ, reflects on Peter’s answer and what it says about who we are
Grieving with others is not the only way we commit to solidarity. Becoming aware of one’s participation in the oppression of others, is another way of opening the eyes of the heart and deciding to be responsible. Brian Engelhart, SJ, describes the apathy White people often exercise when dealing with the realities of racism that affect Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and finishes the third week of our “Know Justice, Know Peace: A Jesuit Antiracism Retreat” with one contemporary example, as well as with an invitation to get rid of indifference.
Some realities in life can only be known through tears. The participation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) members in antiracism is not a hobby or an optional venture: it’s a matter of survival.They do not have the luxury that White people have to retire from the conversation of racism and flee from its painful realities. Matt Briand, SJ, invites us to put aside our fear to weep with those who weep because of racism, for true Christian love suffers along the beloved, and commits to justice.
It happened when I served as a Eucharistic minister at a large suburban hospital over five years ago. When I walked into his room, he looked like anybody’s grandpa. I can still see him lying there: a 90-some-year-old man with smallish frame nestled into the middle of the recliner bed, a tuft of white hair atop a wrinkled but happy-go-lucky face, the flimsy-knit, standard issue hospital blanket pulled up just under his chin. Read as Christopher Alt, S.J. reflects on the Eucharist and our everyday life.
Feeling grief for the suffering of others is one of the first steps toward a commitment to serve them. It helps us to have a greater sense of urgency for justice, as well as a deeper understanding of what is at stake. When we accompany those who suffer from racism in their mourning, we walk with our neighbors and bear witness to our Christian vocation. River Simpson, SJ, introduces us to the third week of our “Know Justice, Know Peace: A Jesuit Antiracism Retreat,” and invites us to remain faithfully present to the agonizing Jesus, through our accompaniment of the victims of racism.
Sometimes we need to be a little bit persistent in prayer.
Humility plays a vital role in anti-racism work. Intellectual and moral humility allows individuals to admit complicity in a culture of racism and commit themselves to the ongoing struggle of anti-racism. By looking at the Call of Simon Peter, contemplating the story of Martha and Mary, and meditating on what it means to be “childlike,” Sullivan McCormick invites us to reflect on where in our lives we might need more humility as anti-racists.
When I speak about racism, am I generally more worried about how white people will feel, react, or think of me than I am about how people of color will? Does my Church, my workplace, my classroom consider mainly the sensitives, comfort and concerns of white people? Billy Critchley-Menor points the anti-racism conversation in the right direction when he explains that it is about white people being held accountable to People of Color. White supremacy has shaped society around the accountability of white people. Anti-racism refocuses our attention so we are held accountable by the oppressed in our society; those in whom Jesus lives according to the Gospels.