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George Floyd was not martyred

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

"... do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna." (MT. 10:26-33)

Today as Black America is being persecuted, I say to the fathers, fear no one. Proclaim what you hear to your families and communities. Proclaim that which is real and institutional in America. Just as Jesus sent His Apostles out to fulfill the mission of the Church, go out and continue the mission to defeat racism in America and the world.

In some cases, we have read or heard that George Floyd was martyred. He was not martyred because he was killed for no reason. A martyr is someone killed for their beliefs, religious or otherwise. The person that I understand George Floyd to have been if faced with the choice of dying for Christ would accept martyrdom to save others. Although they killed his body, they cannot kill his soul.

What we fear the most about the killing of the body of George Floyd is that our bodies are now in greater peril. For, example Rayshard Brooks is a perfect sign that pointless killings continue in our country, as many officers point to kill. We must not be afraid of the adversaries. We must fear God more than our persecutors.

Racism is here and is our opposition. We must preach on the Gospel with greater zeal knowing there will be suffering. What we forget is that the soul lives on. It is the spirit of the soul that moves the world to change. Let’s not fear fellow man but fear God. As Black American fathers speak the truth, God will protect us. We gain witness to the death of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks as the faithful, not that God will make it all better, but that God promises to always be there.

Jesus allows us to share in His power and mission, just as He commissioned the Twelve. We can reach those that Jesus could not reach personally.

Let us shout, “They killed his body, but they could not kill His soul!

Authored: Darron C. Woodus

Archdiocese of Baltimore

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