"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your mind.
' This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Matthew 22: 36-40
There's no question about it, we've been through a long, hard ordeal over the last several months. There were times we felt frightened, times we felt bored, times we didn't know which end was up, and perhaps even times when we felt upset that the stay-at-home order seemed to never be coming to an end. And yet, we've finally arrived at the lifting of the Red Phase - tomorrow Bucks County turns Yellow. We can finally breathe a little better. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
But the lockdown and the virus have not turned out to be the end of society's troubles. We've recently experienced yet another extremely rude reminder that the sins of racism, hatred, and bigotry are very much alive and well in our nation. Oh, it goes undercover every now and then - the boiling goes back to simmering, and we hardly notice it's there. And we say to ourselves, "racism is a thing of the past." So we stop thinking about it - at least those of us who aren't persons of color stop thinking about it. Why? Because it's not a part of our everyday reality. But it's still there in subtle and sometimes in blatant ways. Like the death of George Floyd. No, coronavirus is definitely not the end of our troubles. There is something much more pervasive, much more evil, and much more troubling going on in the world around us - and sadly enough, it's been a part of the fabric of society for a long, long time. Sure, we've made some progress since the days of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but we haven't eradicated it by a longshot. And our brothers and sisters of color continue to hear the same whispered messages: "You don't measure up." "You're second-class." "You're not smart enough." "You don't have what it takes." And finally, "Your life doesn't matter."
My heart goes out to the family and friends of George Floyd. His life DOES matter. And thanks be the God, he's now been welcomed home to that place where there is no more prejudice, no more bigotry, no more hatred, and no more skin color. It's a place where all of us are one and all of us are in communion with Christ who tried so hard to teach us by his words and example that loving God and loving our neighbor is the highest aspiration of humanity. It's what our faith is built on.
So let's pray without ceasing, let's search our own hearts and souls, and as Christians, let's commit ourselves to finding ways to work for justice and equality for all people.