Daily Reflection for Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners!
We encourage you to reflect on Wednesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6
Responsorial: Psalm 139:1B-3, 13-15
Second Reading: Acts 13:22-26
Gospel: Luke 1:57-66, 80
Our reflection on Wednesday’s readings:
“What, then, will this child be? Luke 1:66
On June 7th I participated in a Processional of Lament and Repentance, organized by the leaders of several churches located in my neighborhood. Several hundred people joined in prayer asking God to forgive us for our sins of participation in and silence in the face of institutional and societal racism. We processed through the neighborhood to show our solidarity with those who are protesting all across the county, demanding justice and equality. I’ve been proud to live in a neighborhood that was welcoming of racial integration in the 1950s and continues to be racially diverse today. However, many of the gaps that exist nationally for black Americans are painfully present right here in my own neighborhood.
Today we celebrate the birth of St. John the Baptist. In his Canticle John’s father, Zechariah, foretold who John would become. The reason John was born, his God-given purpose in life, was to prepare for the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus. He spent his adult life fulfilling the Scripture, “A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.’” [Luke 3:4]. He called people to repentance, to baptism, and admonished the self-righteous to “produce good fruits as evidence of your repentance.” [Luke 3:8]
I am struck by the relevance of John’s message in this historic moment. As Christians we are always called to individual repentance, to examine our consciences, to acknowledge our sins and strive to sin no more. But we don’t live in this world as individuals only; we are part of a society. What the protests are calling for is not only justice in response to individual acts of racism but for systemic, institutional and societal reforms.
If I went to see John the Baptist preaching today, what would he say to me? Perhaps he would criticize me for being too comfortable in my privileged life. Perhaps he would question whether I was truly repentant based on my silence for most of my life on issues of racial and social justice. Perhaps he would challenge me to “produce good fruits” and find ways to make more of a difference. So I have work to do.
Blessings to all,