I imagine when he mentioned the seamless garment–favorably–in a Pentecost homily last year, he startled some of the faithful. Or should I say Faithful (TM)? On the heels of MLK Day and as we start Black History Month, here’s some of what he had to say in his latest Key column:
We live in a country that has always been rich with diversity. The tendencies of human pride and greed tempt those who “have” to want to hold on to advantage and deny to others the same opportunities we have enjoyed.
Ah! He used the D-word.
We must choose to change this selfishness, and replace any distrust of cultural differences with an openness to the goodness and mystery we know – as followers of Jesus Christ – God has established as gift in every one of His sons and daughters. Human dignity, the sanctity of life, is the fundamental belief and unifying conviction that is capable of animating our choices to live together and love one another.
There’s a great seamless garment-type thought, don’t you think?
Like most changes that begin in the heart and eventually have to be chosen again and again in the will, we are in need of conversion. We might consider an honest, private examination of conscience to own the instances of our racial prejudice. Confession may be necessary, and its grace can heal.
The bishops have taught clearly that racism is a sin. As we think about whatever sins we are guilty of in this regard, we must be sorry if we intend to change with the help of God’s grace. One of the worst consequences of our sins is that they close us off from the invitations by which God wishes to make our lives more full.