Racism in the
Color is the sign of race in the United States. These readings are about signs of a somewhat different nature, both ancient and contemporary. The principal sign is love expressed through the Eucharistic Lord, prefigured by the manna in the desert. The readings require courage to love in the face of uncertainty at the wonderment of the Eucharistic presence. Psalm 147:20 proclaims, The LORD … has not done this for any other nation.
Racism is worldly.
God, however, loves the world, as
Deuteronomy begins the readings relating the Covenant
with manna. The purpose of the manna is
to show that people do not live by bread alone, but by the Word of God. The equation of food with the Word of God is
almost commonplace in the Hebrew Bible.
Faith and love will make everything
right. Jesus takes on the identity of
Israel. Jesus fasted forty days,
Deuteronomy is about three great issues: wealth, the king, and foreigners. The New Testament clarifies how they interrelate. Foreigners refers to modern racism, whereby the concept Chosen People expands to include all humanity. King refers to the role of politics determining truth. True wealth consists not in material things, but in the love of God Almighty.
Deuteronomy recalls bringing forth water from the flinty rock (Deut ), a precursor of the water with
The Fathers of the Church reflected on the readings
for today. Even without knowing about
American slavery, what the Fathers thought is applicable. Saint
Not only do the predispositions of humans matter, but so do the predispositions of God. In the First Testament, God likes to reward the Faithful with long lives. In the New Testament, God likes to reward the Faithful not only with long lives, but with eternal lives, as Saint John Chrysostom (354-407) points out. Chrysostom is one of the Four Great Doctors of the East, serving as Archbishop of Constantinople 397-407.
Love is the opposite of poor predisposition. God has an irrational, passionate love of humans. Such is the message of Sacred Scripture. That humans have an opportunity to offer a similar passionate, irrational love of God is rare, but present in Deuteronomy 6—11. Psalm 147 is so full of alleluias that editors changed the alleluias as the text moved from Masoretic to Greek to Qumran.
These Solemnity readings are a joyful occasion
expressed in the Eucharistic prefiguration; with
the best of wheat he fills you (Psalm 147:14). Saint
In the Gospel,
For those in the
These readings bind the Faithful in relationship to one another and to God. 1 Corinthians is about the primacy of conscience giving way to a primacy of human relationships, to a type of primacy of political correctness. Paul does not want the Corinthians eating meat sacrificed to idols if some Christians would interpret that meal as idolatry. Similarly, the appearances of racism are unsuited to Christian living.
Recapitulating, racism in the
For more on sources see the Appendix file.
 Stanley B. Marrow, “KosmoV in John," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 1 (January 2002) 97.
 Jon D. Levenson, “Some Unnoticed Connotations in Jeremiah 20:9," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 46, No. 2 (April 1984) 223.
 Christopher T. Begg, “2 Kings 20:12-19 as an Element of the Deuteronomistic History,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 1 (July 1986) 31.
St. Gregory of Nyssa, Bishop and Doctor, “The Mystic Wine,” PG 44, On the
Canticles, Homily X, col. 987 in The
Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers: Volume Three: From Pentecost to the Tenth
Sunday after Pentecost, tr. and ed.
 International Commission on English in the Liturgy: A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and published by Authority of Pope Paul IV: Order of Christian Funerals: Including Appendix 2: Cremation: Approved for use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1998) 241, 259.