As I reflect on the scriptures and the context of our world, nation and society, there is a clear message for us. I recall the words of Sr. Thea Bowman, “Today we are called to walk together in a new way as we celebrate who we are and whose we are.” thea bowman, o.s.f.
In the Tampa Bay Times article I remember stating that: “I believe we are intrinsically woven together and united in a new way with my sister or brother who is sick around the world. Our lives are impacted profoundly. The choices we make today can greatly impact the world we live in.” stephan brown, svd
As I look to the scriptures I see the great generosity and love, two people sharing who they are and what they have with one another. Each blessing the other. In the book of Kings a woman and her family receive the Prophet Elisha who travels by their town on a regular basis. They invite him in and even go as far as to prepare an apartment for him. This great giving and sharing their lives is rewarded, Elisha’s message of prophesy of her ‘fondling a new born son” in a year is a blessing that comes from her great love.
What we see in Elisha’s encounter as well as hear in Jesus’ charge to loose our lives for others I believe is what our lives must be focused on right now. If the question is, Do I wear a mask? Is my decision based about my being comfortable or is about my caring for others. Wearing a mask can keep others safe. In regard to Social Justice, and Racial Equality. Do I not stand and speak out because it’s “not my problem” or “has nothing to do with me”? Or do I see the pain of those Black and Brown lives dying in our streets and say, what can I do to help. Can I make that person’s life better. Whether it be protesting for change, speaking out for change, participating in discussion groups, community forum, or helping others to register to vote to honestly elect those who will truly commit to change and see how can I get involved.
At a time like no other, we need to be thinking and concerned about others, and decide if not getting involved or caring will harm someone or build them up. Protecting others by wearing a face mask is not about an individuals rights being removed, rather it’s about and individual saying “I care about how others lives are effected.” Advocacy for justice and equality is not about my feeling comfortable or uncomfortable but rather the “Other” feeling included, respected and valued. We can make a difference in others lives when we are willing to spend our lives for the good of others.