Today’s readings call on us to reflect on our own social constructs…who we treat as insiders and who we treat as outsiders…whose lives we believe matter and whose lives we believe don’t matter! What scripture makes clear is that we are called by God to work to eradicate all social structures and attitudes that exclude and marginalize “the other”. In today’s Gospel we see that even Jesus is challenged by the Canaanite woman to “revision his mission,” and to proclaim the Reign of God so that it goes beyond the People of Israel and includes absolutely everyone! Because each one is a child of God and, yes, even the Canaanites are included! There is no place for racism or bigotry or xenophobia or misogyny in the Reign of God because we are all God’s children -- and racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, homophobia and misogyny are all sins against the Reign of God! Everyone is invited and as St. Paul reminds us “the gifts and the call are irrevocable”! The Word has gone out…all are invited to be part of the Reign of God…and the Word of God once spoken cannot be called back!
I believe that all of us who call ourselves Christians do well to reflect on all of this in light of the racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism and outright hatred displayed in the violence in what we saw three years ago in Charlottesville and the violence we have seen today against the Black Lives Matter protesters, protesting for racial justice, perpetrated by our very own government. We have to ask ourselves: Are there people I exclude?...How could I be more inclusive in my life? What socio-political and religious structures does the Gospel call me to work to change to be more inclu-sive so that no one is left out? In order to more faithfully follow the call of Jesus Christ what idols to slavery, exclusion, hatred, marginalization and war do I need to work to pull down in my life?...In this nation?...In the world?