Homily – June 13, 2021

Last Sunday people were shocked by the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves of Indigenous children who were students at a residential school in B.C.

These unnamed, unknown children were forcefully removed from their mothers and fathers, they were punished for speaking their mother tongue, forced to wear uniforms, forced to eat new food, denied contact with their parents and suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

This Sunday we’re stunned by the violent deaths of a Moslem family run down as they enjoyed an evening stroll on a London street.

Both tragic events point to the evil effects of the virus of racism a virus far more deadly and destructive that the present virus Corvid 19 that is presently holding our lives at a standstill.

The antivirus to racism is the God given commandment ‘love one another as I’ve loved you’. It doesn’t seem to be working in the human family. Racism, bigotry, intolerance still have the upper hand in our inter-human relationships

Jesus often uses agricultural imagery in his teaching. In today’s gospel he uses the imagery of the smallest of all seeds, a seed that sprouts and grows, independent of the farmer’s efforts to the greatest of all shrubs offering its branches to nesting birds.

Seeds, let’s call them attitudes or mindsets are sown in our lives within our own family life. We pick up these mindsets and attitudes almost by osmosis. These attitudes can be the virus that blights the way we see and relate to men and women of another race, another color, another religion, another life-style such as members of the Gay communities. These attitudes, these mindsets keep us from seeing the goodness, the dignity, the worth of men and women and even children different from ourselves.

This virus of racism can cause us to see others as less than ourselves. Corvid 19 has spread around the world causing millions of deaths. Racism is pandemic, it’s everywhere, and it’s in the air we breathe. People may protest, I’m not a racist but let’s face it; we all are to one degree or another. We’re all suspicious of, leery of ‘The other’, the different, and the strange. They speak differently, they dress differently, they live differently, they believe differently they love differently.

There is a saying; denial ain’t just a river in Egypt’. When it comes to the virus of racism, are you in denial, am I in denial about having this virus? Probably yes.

As we continue to celebrate this Mass we pray, we plea for the grace to love, accept, respect the ‘other’, the different, the strange as the crucified Christ loves, respects and accepts us, as we are, warts and all.