It’s pouring rain after the brilliant day we had yesterday. I sat at mass this morning moved by the faces of people passing by after communion. Graceful, holy, kind faces. What were they thinking as they walked by? The church was full today. Maybe the rain had something to do with that or maybe people wanted to come together, worship, and be grateful for that freedom. Maybe it was solidarity for the nine who died this week in South Carolina. Nine people shot as they worshiped in a place they deemed safe and sacred. This morning I never once worried that someone would enter the church and kill us. I could sit peacefully and meditate. I thought of how many people worried that I would be killed when I went to Congo. I wondered if they worried about people going to church in South Carolina, or the movies in Colorado, or first grade in Connecticut.
I listened this week to our president speak with overwhelming grace and grief about the hatred and destruction that prevails in this country. Again I wonder how this can still be happening? How can we as a higher life form still find reason to kill one another?
Human beings are all the same race. We all originated in Africa and our skin color has only to do with climate. We are all the same. Why then did we evolve with so much hatred? What happened to our species? When did greed enter the timeline? What purpose could that have served? Why isn’t enough good enough?
I realize that the Catholic mass has language that can be archaic and dogmatic. I listened today, not only to the scripture, but the hymns, in a different way. One father of all. Okay, paternalistic, sure, but today is Father’s Day so let’s go with the same father for everyone––for today. Tomorrow it can be mother, or spirit, or whatever. That’s not important to me. What is important is the idea that we are all the same family. Not just the people in this church, but all of us. All of humanity. All the same family. How can we help our family members who have gone so far off the rails? How can we protect the victims they harm?
The faces I saw this Sunday morning give me comfort. And hope.