The news from Charlottesville has been disturbing to say the least, and it has been disappointing to witness how some leaders are not willing to unequivocally condemn racism and other hatreds. Last Sunday we celebrated the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St. Mark's, and in the sermon I spoke about the theology of the incarnation. My basic theme was that through Jesus Christ, God comes to love all of humanity without exception. Our race, gender, sexual orientation, and other particularities are gifts of diversity to be celebrated, because ultimately we belong to the same family of Jesus Christ. Sadly, we use this beautiful diversity of God's family to create division.
Since the beginning of time, humans have been trying to throw away other humans. Charlottesville may seem to be a remote world from Honolulu, but let us not forget that we have our own divisions within the human family here in the Islands. Last weekend St. Mark's delivered approximately fifty suppers to the homeless in Kapahulu. These past few months, our Sunday Supper Ministry has grown faster than we ever imagined, and what began as a sandwich ministry has evolved into something much larger due to need. The reality is that the homeless of our neighborhood are the people our society has thrown away. Issues of addiction, physical maladies, and mental illness are very evident. Many of these folks did not think they would end up homeless, and now it is a way of survival.
Just as it is easier to pretend that the problems of Charlottesville are not relevant to Honolulu, it is also easier to keep quiet, hoping that the challenges of homelessness will go away. We should all wake up. Racism is an age-old sin, and sadly it is here to stay. Racism will simply continue to find ways to morph into new manifestations, just as it did last week. As for homelessness, housing is not getting any cheaper in the islands. If you find homelessness annoying now, you will be more annoyed in the future. The challenge continues to multiply as some have more and more, and others have less and less.
In every place and age, it is the responsibility of the Christian to shine God's justice on the darkness present in society. The evils of racism, hatred, and greed in our world require a Christian response. When Jesus came to live among us, he continually restored the outcasts and the suffering. He moved those existing on the periphery to the center of his love. We are called to do no less if we truly love him.