Speaking Out Against Racial Injustice

Reading 1.  HOS 8:4-7, 11-13

Thus says the LORD:
They made kings in Israel, but not by my authority;
they established princes, but without my approval.
With their silver and gold they made
idols for themselves, to their own destruction.
Cast away your calf, O Samaria!
my wrath is kindled against them;
How long will they be unable to attain
innocence in Israel?
The work of an artisan,
no god at all,
Destined for the flames—
such is the calf of Samaria!

When they sow the wind,
they shall reap the whirlwind;
The stalk of grain that forms no ear
can yield no flour;
Even if it could,
strangers would swallow it.

When Ephraim made many altars to expiate sin,
his altars became occasions of sin.
Though I write for him my many ordinances,
they are considered as a stranger’s.
Though they offer sacrifice,
immolate flesh and eat it,
the LORD is not pleased with them.
He shall still remember their guilt
and punish their sins;
they shall return to Egypt.

Responsorial Psalm.  115:3-4, 5-6, 7AB-8, 9-10

R. (9a) The house of Israel trusts in the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Our God is in heaven;
whatever he wills, he does.
Their idols are silver and gold,
the handiwork of men.
R. The house of Israel trusts in the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
They have mouths but speak not;
they have eyes but see not;
They have ears but hear not;
they have noses but smell not.
R. The house of Israel trusts in the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
They have hands but feel not;
they have feet but walk not.
Their makers shall be like them,
everyone that trusts in them.
R. The house of Israel trusts in the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia.  JN 10:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel.  MT 9:32-38

A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.
The crowds were amazed and said,
“Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
But the Pharisees said,
“He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”

By Amy Rigby 

“The truth can’t set me free if I keep it caged in me.”

I sang those words like a prayer as I hunkered down in an unfamiliar place, writing songs on my guitar to pass the time in quarantine.

I’ve spent the last 100-plus days alone in a town where no one knows me, watching horrific events unfold from the safety of the house I’m renting. In such isolation, it is easy to withdraw from the world, easy to shut off the bad news and think that it shuts off my responsibility to do something about it.

I’ve found myself making a home inside the comfort of playing it safe. 

As a writer and singer, voice is especially important to me, but as a people-pleaser, so too is getting along with others. And in my cowardice, I often find myself preferring the latter.

In today’s Gospel, we learn about a possessed man who cannot speak until Jesus drives out the demon. I find that detail particularly striking: of all the ways the demon could have tormented this man, it chose to take away his voice.

It makes me wonder, after the exorcism, what were the first words out of this man’s mouth? How did he feel when he finally got it off his chest?

Was there something this man had to say that threatened the devil so much that he tried to stop it from being spoken?

As the pandemic and the fight against racial injustice rages on, I feel powerless. I watch atrocities play out in grainy cell phone videos on my iPhone screen, and I think, “Who am I to stop things like this from happening?” I try to write about the sin of racism, attempt to open up discussions with family and friends, and I think, “But I have nothing important to say.”

In my struggle to effect some sort of positive change amid this onslaught of evil, one word keeps tormenting me: futility. It all feels futile.

But I am starting to realize that that is a lie.

I have the power of my God-given voice. How convenient for the devil if he can take away my agency by convincing me that speaking up does not matter. How sinister the silence that ensues.

As tempting as it is for me to keep quiet and withdraw from society—now, more than ever, the world needs people willing to speak the truth. With the help of Jesus, I am finding my voice, and it begins by speaking to Him. I’ve carved out space in the upstairs bedroom (which I’ve lovingly dubbed “the upper room”) to pray with my favorite scriptures depicting Jesus’ healing miracles. Fittingly, the homeowner had already decorated a corner of this room with small crosses draped with rosaries and a framed painting of a placid-faced Jesus.

In this “upper room” of a rented house, I am reminded of how the disciples cowered in fear in that Upper Room in Jerusalem and how the Holy Spirit descended upon them, giving them the courage to go out and preach. One of my favorite prayers when I don’t know what to say is, “Come, Holy Spirit, give me the words to speak.” 

After months of holing up in this house, hiding what was bothering me, I finally spoke up about my own experiences of racism, the wounds I concealed for so many years. By opening up, I was able to receive the love and support I desperately needed from friends. In turn, they shared with me their similar experiences, helping us all feel less alone.

But this is only a start.

I hope this taste of speaking the truth emboldens me to continue to use my voice to call out racial injustice.

I am starting to come out of my hiding.  I am starting to let my voice ring out.  I am writing again, singing again, speaking up, and little by little, experiencing the healing freedom that truth brings.


Amy Rigby is a full-time writer who returned to the Catholic Church after many years away and still has so much to learn. An avid traveler, she's been to 19 countries and is probably dreaming of her next destination right now. When her nomadic days are done, she hopes to own a big house filled with natural light, where everyone is invited to stay.

Older Post
Newer Post

Leave a comment

Close (esc)


We've changed thousands of lives with a simple process and you can do it too. Subscribe below and let's get started on your best self.

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.


Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now