A Reflection from the Interpath Traditions
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
March 3, 2023
Last week several White supremacist groups called for a National Day of Hate targeting Jews. I find this more than heartbreaking. News outlets around the Nation reported that February 25, the designated day for such a despicable plan, passed “without” incident. I am grateful for the news, but I find myself disturbed nonetheless. The mere suggestion of a Day of Hate is violent, criminal, and evil. Once more, we as a Nation must dedicate ourselves to the cause of what is right, good, true, and just. The threat of a Day of Hate is an act of hate threatening the well-being and lives of very real people who have every right to be who they are. We cannot neglect to respond to hate and fear of this threat. Several thoughts come to mind.
First, Christian people, in particular, must examine the upcoming prayers, readings, and rituals for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter to ensure no anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish rhetoric or teachings occur. No practice, verse, song, or tradition is more important than a person’s right to live in freedom and peace. Christians must confront the long history of hostility against Jews.
Second, people of all Faith Traditions must stand together with any community under attack or threat. If our spiritualities cannot unite us in solidarity, we must revisit what we believe and why. We need to pray, study, and work together for the benefit of all.
Third, we must meet people of different faiths, beliefs, or philosophies of life. Religions and philosophies cannot meet or engage one another; only people can. We must honor the uniqueness of everyone. Understanding and appreciating one another will help us to be understanding and considerate.
Fourth, we must confront any prejudice or stereotype in our hearts. How we think about another person is as important as how we treat them.
Fifth, we must not tolerate any word or deed from anyone compromising another person’s human dignity. We must have the courage to confront others as we seek to eradicate hate, prejudice, and intolerance from our society.
Every day must be a day dedicated to the pursuit of peace, under-standing, and respect. Blessing to you, Holy Community, for dedicating yourselves to the cause of justice and the care of others. Thank you for standing in solidarity with the Jewish community in this time of trouble.