Through her words and her life our Blessed Mother reminds us that God’s judgement is very different from ours. As Mary acknowledged in her Magnificat, God chose her, a poor, lowly woman, to be the mother of the Christ. In Mary’s humble, faith-filled response and in the incarnation, we see that God’s love and power does not require prestige or wealth. And yet, we often categorize people by race, caste, class. or gender. These judgments shape our first impressions, and all too often influence our interactions and actions.

In Brunswick, Georgia, jury selection has begun for the trial of three men accused of chasing and killing Ahmaud Arbery in February of 2020. Denying guilt, the defendants claimed that they shot Arbery while making a citizen’s arrest, believing that Arbery, an unarmed Black man who was jogging, was responsible for several area break-ins. In light of the challenge of seating an impartial jury, summons have been mailed to more than 1,000 people.

Following Arbery’s death, Georgia has established hate crime legislation, but the upcoming trial calls all of us to self-reflection and prayer to our mother that we come to recognize all our brothers and sisters.