By the Rt. Rev. Prince G. Singh
VIII Episcopal Bishop in Rochester
Today is the fourteenth anniversary of the US led invasion of Afghanistan. There are lessons to learn. The violence around us and within us should cause us to pause and take stock of our participation in projects of objectification. I grieve for our world where we lose sight of the dignity of human beings who are objectified enough to become dispensable. They are refugees, people who live far away, people we take for granted, migrant workers, young black men and women, the Dalits (outcastes) of our world, doctors without borders (victims of collateral damage) or ________ - fill in the blank.
Jesus calls us to wisdom in making the connections when we reduce creation to disposable objects, be they created human beings, animals, living beings or this planet, our island home. Martin Luther King, Jr., named racism, poverty and violence (war) as primary expressions of objectification that precedes dispensability. Once we reduce created beings to objects we can dispense of them with abandon.
Jesus calls us amidst our self-centered drives of domination to a discipleship that is about being caught up in the wonder of life while being counted among the living as responsible agents of transformation.
Jesus also calls all the blessed ones to claim power from places of apparent powerlessness through mourning, peacemaking, hungering for and being persecuted for righteousness, being pure in heart, being merciful, being meek, being materially or spiritually (all of us sinners) poor, and being insulted for taking up your cross. My friends, rejoice and be glad. Claim your place as agents of transformation from those places of powerlessness. Don't dominate, but serve. I pray the you and I grow into Christ's stature by seeking wise connectivity, wondrous responsibility, and radical reversibility. Let us be the change!
Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much
seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
- St. Francis of Assisi
(Image from Flickr: Maxence)