From Jeannine Hill Fletcher, Professor of Theology at Fordham University, Bronx NY and author of The Sin of White Supremacy: Christianity, Racism and Religious Diversity in America (Orbis, 2017). This is an excerpt from a sermon originally posted in June 2018 at Catholic Women Preach entitled “Body and Blood of Christ.” Read the sermon in its entirety here.
When Christians drink the cup of the covenant, we insert ourselves in the final meal of the One who gave over his body and his blood in the stand against the systems of violence in his world, committing his blood to reveal that things could be different. And we’re not alone in this commitment. In 1953, Mamie Till raised her son Emmett to an international gaze when she had the courage to show how the sin of White supremacy made the blood of her only son flow to his death. In 2018, from out of the aftermath of the blood that flowed from a code red active shooter, Emma Gonzalez had the courage to name how blood is meant for life. In Charlottesville, and Philadelphia, and New York City, people are finding the courage to stand and to march, to show up and stand against the blood the flows from White insecurities and White supremacies which refuse to acknowledge that Black Lives Matter. Christians are committing to the life blood of fathers, uncles and mothers threatened when ICE decides that no space is sacred. In response to the triple threat of racism, materialism and militarism, the many movements in our day carry on the work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King who witnessed with his blood what it looks like to be in covenantal relationship with the God who dwells in human beings, responding to violence with peace; even if it means giving over one’s life.