Summer is far from over, the current heat and humidity are clear signs of this lingering season. The oppressive weather seems to be releasing undercurrents of societal and racial tensions, largely dormant, but now exploding into expression. The intense heat of this moment is simply bringing to the surface, centuries of hidden racial bigotry.
The senseless, violent actions of some of our police is unearthing racism that extends its violent and evil tentacles well beyond the police and into the hearts of us who are part of the dominant white culture. It’s so easy to scapegoat one segment of our society, law enforcement, as the locus of the problem. How convenient and deceitful.
Today’s gospel gives us a strident Jesus decrying the hypocrites surrounding him, the leaders and interpreters of the Law who kept the Laws’s judgment away from themselves. “You hypocrites,” shouts Jesus, comparing the inner recesses of their hearts to tombs of decay. Quite vivid. Jesus was as hot as our weather!!
May this time of a worldwide pandemic and explosive racial tensions RENT our open hearts to the truths that lie within. Many of these truths of the heart are ugly indeed. But an open and cracked heart is a heart ready for Grace to seep into its depths, saturating the heart-soil with tears of mercy and forgiveness.
Social distancing aside, we all need, at some point, to come together, physically, join hands of different cultures, races, and religions, and realize the power and dignity of each expression of humanity. May each one of us look at the one who is NOT of our race and culture, and see in THEM, our salvation.