We live in a time in which 'shaming' has become a national pastime. People are called to be ashamed of being American. People are called to be ashamed of being male or female. People are called to be ashamed of belonging to one race or another. We are called by some to be ashamed of being Christian. At the end of the day, there are those who would call us to be ashamed of being a part of the human race.
These are truly sad times and, unfortunately, for many people, hopeless times. Reflecting on all of this, I turned to the account of creation in the Book of Genesis in which we are told that God looked at all that he had created and saw that it was good. While that goodness has been marred by sin, long before there was original sin, there was original goodness.
The beauty of creation in all its manifold forms has, admittedly, been distorted by sin. All have fallen short. Police officers who have abused their power have fallen short. Citizens who have resisted the lawful authority of police officers have fallen short. Rioters and looters who have destroyed life and property have fallen short. White men and women who have nurtured hatred in their hearts towards people of other races and have passed that hatred on to their children have fallen short. Black and brown men and women who have nurtured hatred in their hearts toward people of other races and passed that hatred on to their children have fallen short.
Jesus came among us not to condemn the world, but to redeem the world. While many in our country today would condemn the world, we are called to allow God to redeem the world as we tum away from sin in its manifold forms: prejudice and racism, hard-hardheartedness and forgiveness, anarchy and wanton destruction of life and property and hateful and distorted rhetoric.
Christians, far from being ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus, are called to live that Gospel more loudly and prophetically than ever before. At the heart of the Gospel is reconciliation. Jesus came to reconcile us to God and to one another. Any movement, any philosophy or any agenda that does not seek true reconciliation as its goal is opposed to the Gospel and is doomed to fail.
God looked at all that he had created and saw that it was good. May we never lose sight of the goodness around us and may we never lose sight of the power of God to make all things new. We Christians have a voice. In a time when many voices are making themselves heard, may we not be silent. If we live as Jesus calls us to live, black, brown or white, male or female, American, Mexican, Polish, Eritrean or any other nationality, we have no reason to be ashamed.
See you at Mass.