evil, racism, scripture reflection

Avoiding Despair While Working for Justice

22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (A)

This week has been a stressful one on campus; not because of the usual stress of a new academic year, and not because of unusual COVID-19 protocols and restrictions in place. That would all be stressful enough, but on top of that we have the additional stress of racism rearing its ugly head in our campus community.

Certain students have seen fit to upload videos to social media depicting hateful racist slurs. Those students are no longer enrolled on campus. They may have left, but anger and indignation remains, as does a sense of frustration. Why must we continue to deal with this? When will people open their eyes to the fact that it is wrong — plain and simply wrong — to hate someone because of the color of their skin; to devalue the life of another because they are different than you? With all of the work that so many do each day to promote peace and unity and justice, how much longer must we deal with injustice in the world?

The frustration we feel is understandable. But it can also lead to a sense of hopelessness and despair, leading to depression. If there will always be sin and injustice in the world, why bother trying to change it? Why waste our time working for good?

Deacon Matt tackles these questions in light of this Sunday’s gospel reading, where Peter has a hard time accepting Christ’s suffering due to thinking not as God does, but as human beings do. How can having a more heavenly perspective help us deal with evil in this world?