Reflecting on a week of demonstrations in the USA

 10 June 2020 |

Reflecting on a week of demonstrations in the USA, and thinking about the way the Bible was used as part of a photo ‘opportunity’, the book of Exodus came to mind. At the end of Genesis, Joseph who had been sold off into slavery, found himself heading up the Egyptian crisis management team when famine struck the land of Egypt. Joseph served Pharaoh and Egypt. And the people were grateful and welcomed Joseph’s family. Time passed and a new Pharaoh arose who did not know Joseph and how this foreigner had saved his country. But this new pharaoh was an insecure man who feared the Israelite people in his land; he lost sight of how they saved his country and became part of the structure and peoples of Egypt.
The scene is set as a background to the birth of Moses; I wonder how many of you notice how Moses is a person who mirrors of experience of the Israelites – he is rescued by the daughter of Pharaoh, brought into the royal palace and raised there, no doubt giving pleasure, love, and value to the royal household. One day, Moses sees how badly certain Egyptians treat the Hebrew people, his brothers, and se witnesses the oppression for himself. He makes sure he’s not seen and murders one of the oppressors. 
Justice is the cornerstone of any community and nation. We know only too well how often some people can flout rules and regulations, and oftentimes we do it ourselves, but our faith and our calling demands we stand for justice which we see as foundational and at the heart of good relationships and societies. When Justice breaks down, divisions become deeper and more permanent and are often tolerated; relationships and societies are damaged and destroyed.

In this week, of all weeks, we pray:

God of justice, 
in your wisdom you create all people in your image, without exception. 
Through your goodness, open our eyes to see the dignity, beauty, and worth of every human being. Open our minds to understand that all your children are brothers and sisters in the same human family. 
Open our hearts to repent of racist attitudes, behaviours, and speech which demean others. 
Open our ears to hear the cries of those wounded by racial discrimination, and their passionate appeals for change. 
Strengthen our resolve to make amends for past injustices and to right the wrongs of history. 
And fill us with courage that we might seek to heal wounds, build bridges, forgive and be forgiven, and establish peace and equality for all in our communities. 
In Jesus’ name we pray. 
Amen.From the US Catholic Charities “Prayer for Racial Healing”