My brothers and sisters, in the weeks leading up to this event, the Lord Jesus revealed a word to me.  I would like to share it with you now. 

The Lord is saying: I am calling the Catholic Church to become the vessel for the future of American race relations.  That was the word revealed to me, and I prayed to understand it.  I believe it means this: 

It means: Yes, even now, at a time when the Church is, in fact, under attack from many enemies, inside and outside, still, the Lord is calling the Church, this Catholic Church, this Body of Christ, to bring forth the future of American race relations. 

It means: Yes, as Catholics in Cleveland, we are being called by the Lord to build personal relationships with each other, immediately.  To become personally invested in each other. 

It means: Yes, the Lord Jesus wants to flatten whatever mountains, and fill in whatever valleys there might be, between Catholics of all nations, colors, and ages. 

It means: Yes, the Lord is preparing us to be divinely appointed agents-of-change for American race relations. 

That, my sisters and brothers, is the prophetic word that I received and discerned. 


Now I would like to share a bit about what led me to this place and time. 

For many years I would travel on business internationally.  So, I’ve experienced Catholic worship in many countries and cultures. 

I have seen that our universal catholic faith, well, it unifies. 

In Galatians 5:22, the homily of the fruit of the Spirit, St. Paul describes our relationship with God as a relationship of love, joy and peace.  An unconditional Love for others; an unending source of Joy; an inner Peace that overcomes. 

Now, my brothers and sisters, every one of us carries some kind of burden on our heart.  We are all broken, in need of healing. 

Yet many of our sisters and brothers in our own diocese carry an extra burden, a special burden, a life-long burden, even a generational burden, of injustice and oppression. 

And, many of our brothers and sisters carry a spiritual burden of being a quiet witness to injustice and oppression. 

And there are many other kinds of burdens, and many of us carry those, too. 

Now we know what Jesus said (Mt 11:28-30) “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Jesus’ burden does not hold us back.  His burden saves us.  It is the good burden.  The burden of coming to Jesus for the answer to every problem or opportunity, even the “impossible” ones. 

My brothers and sisters, we are here today to give our burdens to Jesus, and to build new relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ. 

It is not enough to know each other from a long distance. 

We must go out among each other, eye to eye. 

To let the Holy Spirit move among us, to make us a more unified and perfect community in Christ. 

And then to answer the Lord’s call to work as one body to establish God’s justice in our communities.  Because the Lord’s plan is for our Church to bring forth the future of American race relations. 

Now…I would like to share a story. 

The island nation of Sri Lanka.  There was a civil war in Sri Lanka that lasted about 30 years, and it only ended about 10 years ago.  It was a real military war with guns, bombs, tanks, ships.  Uniforms, training, chain of command.  There were army tactics, there were guerrilla tactics.  But actually, it was a 21st century race war.  There was a majority race, there was a minority race.  Finally, that war ended, thank God.  But it did not end in reconciliation.  It ended on terms.  One side won the war.  The other side lost the war.  I suppose the government came up with some policy to keep the peace, or at least to prevent another war.  That’s fine, but it is not reconciliation.  But…not so in the Catholic communities of Sri Lanka.  Not so.  Catholics in Sri Lanka are a minority among both races.  Catholics were able to reconcile across racial lines and unify because of their faith.  Catholic reconciliation can be a model for national reconciliation. 

My sisters and brothers, is it not so, that the Catholic faith is so unique, so holy and so True that it can overcome any human effort to divide?  Yes, it is the Truth, it is Holy, and it is unique – and diverse. 

My brothers and sisters I believe the end of racism, and the realization of racial equality, will come from the Church.  

So…Let us ask the Holy Spirit today, what do we now, what do we do next, what is your plan for us?  Let us be the instrument of your peace.  Let it be done according to Your will.  PTL.