Thank you so much for all those who came to stand with us and to show their support for an end to racial inequality #StillStMonica #NotinVain #IamWIthYou #belovedinthisplace
My sisters and brothers—
It's clear to all of us that there is great pain that we've lived with—and yes, have neglected for a long period of time. I first want to say to you that if I, as your pastor, or if we as a community have neglected that—have not heard you, have not paid close attention enough, have not done enough—we're very sorry for that. We beg for mercy and forgiveness. It is a difficult time and Jesus calls every single one of us to be advocates, to be people who are like that paraclete that we celebrated yesterday. People that call each other to unity, to drink from the same font, to be members of the same body, to live together. As one people, that's our challenge. That's our blessing. And we must do everything we can to create that right here in this community of Saint Monica.
Brothers and sisters that is what is required of us today. We must double down—we must triple down on the greatest gift of all: the gift of love. I’d like to read Romans to you today, “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will ever separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ, our savior.”
What's desperately needed, most of all, is simply: love. That we love each other. That we try to listen to each other. That we do our best to care for each other. To realize our mistakes. To do our best. To heal those wounds with the precious gift today, that's in all of our hearts, which is the gift of love. And so that's what we're praying for. That's what we need most desperately today. Nothing can separate us from that love—nothing. So we must hold on to that message. Keep that message. Live that message today.
To be honest with you, brothers and sisters, I cannot comprehend why this violent unrest is necessary. It's beyond me. I don't, I can't comprehend why that is so. It seems foolish. It's destructive. But brothers and sisters, what I do know is that each one of us must do our best to understand the pain, the suffering, the difficulty, the division, the divides each one of us as a nation. Jesus Christ suffered and died so that we might live. He handed over his body for us so that we might live. People are dying today because their lives are being taken from them. That must stop. It cannot continue. We cannot live in that discord. We must live in the power and the gift of his love. Nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus Christ.
Sisters and brothers, Mary is the feast—our great mother. We're praying for justice and praying for peace in this world. The response of Mary to the death of her son was love. And that must be at the heart of our response today.
I spent a couple of hours this morning writing and walking through our city. I met a lot of our parishioners and lots of other people out there cleaning the rubble that was left in the wake of yesterday's great struggle. So many people from our community are so good. Doing so much to restore this city of Santa Monica. They're doing it, how? They're doing it by a response of love. We must do that. This community of St. Monica must listen. Must deal, must be at the forefront of those difficult issues that need somehow to be resolved. We must do that and we must do all of it out of love.
I pray for the leadership of our city today. I pray for each one of us who live in this great city of Santa Monica by the sea. I pray for all of us to respond today, clearly without hesitation in one singular voice, the voice of love. Amen.
-Homily, Monday, June 1, 2020, Msgr. Torgerson
Resources to ease our minds and hearts.
Requiem for Black Children of God - (Archdiocese of New Orleans)
"White People, Let's Do Our Homework" (Heidid Schulmpf - National Catholic Reporter)
Racism in Our Streets and Structures, Presented at 12 noon on June 5th - (Hosted by the Georgetown University's Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life, featuring Archbishop Wilton Gregory, Dr. Marcia Chatelain, Ralph McCloud, Gloria Purvis, and moderated by John Carr)
Talking about Race - (National Museum of African American History and Culture)
A Guide to the Discussion You are Scared to Have Right Now (National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry)
Between the World and Me (Ta-Nehisi Coates)