By Martha Sanchez, CTA Anti-Racism Team Member
The Lord spoke … “do not worship any gods but me”
We stand before you, Holy Spirit, conscious of our limitations, but aware that we gather in your name.
Come to us, remain with us, and enlighten our hearts. Give us light and strength to know your will, to make it our own and to live it in our lives. Guide us by your wisdom, support us by your power, for you are God, sharing the glory of our Creator and Savior. You desire justice for all, enable us to uphold the rights of others; Do not allow us to be misled by ignorance or corrupted by fear or favor. Unite us to yourself in the bond of love and keep us faithful to all that is true …Amen.
-Selection from Vatican II Prayer to the Holy Spirit
The story of Exodus is the story of liberation from slavery to freedom that is gained by trusting in God. If we look at the state of our nation many of us are rejecting God: living in fear, building walls, making idols of our flag and country. We are lost, looking for a promised land created by prejudice and privilege.
My experience in working with immigrants along the border with Mexico shows me they must trust in God. As they take their children to school, go to work, visit a doctor there is a risk of apprehension and deportation. Due to profiling by the color of skin, even citizens of this country are stopped. They pray for the grace of God to keep them safe for another day.
The faith they show each day reminds me to stay rooted in what is important, not money or things. Not to use my privilege for myself but to use it to help them. We need to work to change the laws and attitudes that are not just.
Racism hurts all of us, brown, black and white. We all part of the same family and we need to hold each other accountable to use the gifts we are given for the good of all. Only with trust in God will can racism be stopped, it must start with us. One step we can all take is to call our representatives, let them know we are praying for them, and reminding them that God calls us to welcome the stranger in all faith traditions.
Questions for Discussion:
1. What other gods are taking my time and effort?
2. Where is my family from?
At the 2016 CTA conference in Albuquerque we partnered with Strong Families New Mexico a program of Forward Together. Go to their website to learn about their work and find out how you can support them.
Martha Sanchez works as a coordinator for a non-profit organization that welcomes undocumented immigrants and fights for immigrant rights and to make the system less racist. She is committed to this job because many years ago she came undocumented to this country. She was fortunate enough to marry her husband, a citizen, and was able to adjust her status. They have three wonderful children who have all graduated from college and are great assets to this country. She believes that all undocumented people have the same potential if just given the opportunity. Nine years ago, she began her journey with the Call to Action Anti-Racism Team. Through this journey, she learned that not only she is affected by racism but it also affects her white brothers and sisters.