By Tony DeSantis
Who, being in very nature God,
Did not consider equality with God
Something to be used to his own advantage
Rather, he made himself nothing by taking
The very nature of a servant, being made in
O God, whose son Jesus Christ
Humbled himself ever unto death
By crucifixion to expiate all our sins,
Show us how to speak your truth,
Clearly, humbly with conviction
Even when we are tired, afraid or angry.
The story of Jesus in this last part of Lent is a story of humility. He rides into Jerusalem on a colt, not a horse. He approaches Jerusalem as a bearer of peace, not of war. As when Jerusalem responds, he weeps for a city that has doomed itself.
When he meets with his apostles for the final Seder, He offers the bread and wine as a symbol of his body and Blood – to eat and drink. And he asks them to do this again in His memory. He dines with Peter, who he knows will deny him three times, and with Judas Iscariot, who will betray him for 30 pieces of silver.
He goes to Gethsemane to ask God to take away his suffering, but eventually he girds himself to accept the ultimate humiliation; arrest, torture, crucifixion and death.
Those who stand against racism do not resist without cost. John Lewis was beaten by police. Rosa Parks was fired from her job, had her life threatened and eventually had to flee Birmingham for Detroit. There she found racism as deeply entrenched as in the South. Medger Evens was murdered in his driveway. As for Martin Luther King, he was harassed by the FBI and assassinate in Memphis while standing with striking sanitation workers.
To resist racism is to take risks. It is to endure insult, sometimes harassment, and in Charlottesville, even death. But we must do so even when we are tired, afraid or angry.
I conclude with a quote from Mathew 5:11-12
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because your reward in heaven will be great, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets before you.”
- How do I respond in the face of racist remarks or ethnic jokes? Can I say they aren’t appropriate or funny?
- Am I willing to allow someone correct me if I make the same mistake?
Suggestion for Almsgiving:
The Center for Environmental Transformation (CFET) in Camden, New Jersey engages, educates, and inspires people to practice a more environmentally responsible way of living on the planet.
Tony DeSantis is a member of the Vision Council and the Anti-Racism Team. He is also a prison minister, lector and diocesan delegate for Sacred Heart parish in Camden, New Jersey. aHe is also the President of the Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers in Philadelphia.