As we begin a new year today, the Catholic Church also celebrates the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God. As we remember the year gone by and contemplate the unknown ahead of us, let those of us who hope, pray, and work for LGBT equality and justice take a moment to consider Mary, God’s Mother.
She was a woman who responded freely and fully to God’s call, and she helped instill lessons and values in her Son, and then saw him rejected and maligned by civil and religious authorities.
Theologian José Pagola’s words about Mary, in his book, Following the Footsteps of Jesus: Meditations on the Gospel for Year B, are ones we can take to heart as we prepare for the challenges, joys, and potential heartbreaks of the year ahead:
“We begin this year by celebrating the feast of Mary, Mother of God. Her faithfulness and surrender to the word of God, her identification with the lowly, her adherence to the choices of her son, Jesus, her service to the newborn church, and, above all, as service to the Mother of the Savior, make of her the Mother of our faith and of our hope.”
As a new year’s resolution, let’s strive to follow Mary’s example as we work for justice and equality for LGBT people. Let us model her courage in saying “yes” to God’s will, even when it may bring us the shame and scorn of others. Let us remember to always care for the least among us, even those with whom we may disagree. Let us make choices that Jesus would make, in the spirit of forgiving love and mercy for all. Let us choose actions that will build up the church and the reign of God. And let us make sure we make time to build up our faith and to renew our hope.
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry