23rd Sunday in OT (A)
September 2, 2020
An Independence #wearehere
September 2, 2020

Transforming our broken society

By Ottrisha Carter

We live in a society in which a lot of brokenness exists. Whether we accept it or not, we’re all broken in some way.

Henri Nouwen, a famous Dutch Catholic priest, theologian, psychologist, and writer once said, “Our life is full of brokenness–broken relationships, broken promises and broken expectations.”

If we honestly examine our lives, we would be able to acknowledge the broken areas with which we struggle daily. As wounded human beings, we are not sentenced to live a life of complete hopelessness. We’re all God’s children so we have the privilege of seeking God’s healing in our lives.

One of the broken areas that affects our society is the issue of racial discrimination. Over the last couple of months, we have seen the way racial discrimination cripples our people. It’s sad to see how we disrespect the dignity of those whom we classify as inferior, different, unworthy, or unimportant.

God does not have favourites based on skin colour, hair texture, societal rank, educational success, or any other worldly gain on which we place high priority.

“God created man in His image, in the divine image He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen 1:27).

We’re all made in God’s image so we’re all equal in God’s eyes. Therefore, God invites us to resist the temptation of participating in racial discrimination and accept the invitation to love others as He has loved us.

Our lack of responsibility is another broken area that continues to negatively affect our society. The coronavirus pandemic has really highlighted the ways in which we take aspects of our daily lives for granted.

As God’s children, He invites us to show genuine love, care and concern for our brothers and sisters. This does not mean that we are only supposed to be interested in the wellbeing of our relatives and friends, but it means that we have a duty to respect the dignity of every individual we encounter.

Simple decisions such as staying at home if we’re ill and showing flu-like symptoms, wearing our masks in public and avoiding unnecessary activities like attending COVID parties and going to the bars to relax and de-stress are ways in which we can reflect our love for others.

These decisions might make us feel as if we’re being deprived of enjoying ourselves but, these simple acts of deprivation will help us to not only protect ourselves but the lives of others.

“So, for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is a sin” (Jas 4:17).

Stereotyping is another prevalent issue that contributes to our brokenness as a society. Unfortunately, our society perpetuates stereotypes that we come to believe. It’s interesting to see the way people react negatively when the names of certain communities in our country are mentioned.

Sometimes we turn a blind eye to the fact that nobody is perfect. Everyone has a combination of strengths and weaknesses but we’re all God’s children, so we have access to  God’s mercy and forgiveness in our lives.

It’s not our place to judge people based on things we have heard about them, by their physical appearance or by the community in which they live. According to St Teresa of Calcutta, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Therefore, as children of God, it is our duty to love others without even wondering if they deserve our cordiality.

“Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, … . Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance, but the Lord looks into the heart” (1 Sam 16:7).

As the brokenness in our society continues to grow daily, let’s cry out to God for His divine intervention. Our children, youths, young adults, adults, and elderly are all being affected by this brokenness. However, we cannot allow racial discrimination, our lack of responsibility and stereotyping to continue to cripple us.

Let’s give God a chance in our lives to transform our broken society into a society that reflects love for everyone including the poor, the marginalised, the lonely, the oppressed, the misunderstood, the abandoned and the rejected.