Reflection for 25/26th July from Fr. Rory

I support the “Black Lives Matter” campaign. I may get teased, persons may make jokes with a jag at my expense, my height, my vocation, but because I am white, the colour of my skin means, I will get a, ” fair crack of the whip”. I support, “Black Lives Matter” because, while I am in a privileged position, others, through not their own doing, are not given that same fair chance. That does not sit well with me, so I support the campaign. More than that, I support the campaignwhere all lives matter, as one defacer informed us on a mural. So I support, “Pro Life”, refusing to believe that something, which is not our doing, should be reason enough to discriminate against persons, at both ends of the age spectrum, any more than a person’s skin colour is enough to discriminate.

Those who, long before “Black Lives Matter” was heard of, refused to discriminate, but rewarded brilliance, promoted fraternity and fostered talent, were called enlightened, as if discrimination were solely equated with a lack of education. Unfortunately, that is a falsehood. I know of persons who, actively campaign against social housing in residential areas, who will not allow gay men to coach their sons in soccer, who do not employ foreign nationals, all of them are well educated and yet, all of them discriminate.

Christ talks about taking out of our storeroom, things good or/and bad. We can only take out of our storeroom what has been put into it. Christ cannot, by His very nature, put something bad into the storeroom of our lives.That which is bad in our storerooms, has been put there by someone other than Christ. When someone picks on us, ignores us, ostracises us and discriminates against us, because of the colour of my skin, my sexuality, my religious practice, such patterns of behaviour are the fruits of seeds that have been planted by someone other than Christ. Discrimination has a lot less to do with education, though that has its role, than it has to do with morality.

Discrimination, sexism, ageism, and all other cousins, does not just happen, it takes years of cultivation. It starts when we let its seeds take root in our lives, and water those seeds by our laughing at the put down, the refusal to challenge the humiliation, thelanguage we use and the slurs we tolerate about another, who tries to make a living washing cars or selling magazines. We must always be careful, that we do not sow darnel, as Christ calls such language, laughter, and lives, alongside the good wheat of example and morality in another’s life. Indeed, if all lives matter, we must be on the lookout lest that same darnel sprouts in our own lives.

Christ says that there are many rooms in His Father’s house, but there is no storeroom for bigotry, snobbery, superiority or discrimination, in a house built on the morality of The Father and The Son. We have a responsibility, to stack the storerooms of those with whom we share our lives, with attitudes, actions and morals that are of Christ. These attitudes, actions and words engender humility. It is the humble, not the white person, the manager in the firm, the person who owns the firm, the chairperson on the committee, the priest, nor any professional per se, who are the privileged ones. According to Christ, it is humility which makes persons superior, not the colour of their skin; “Blessed are the poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” Mth 5;3.