Sr. Jeannine Gramick, SL, co-founder of New Ways Ministry and longtime LGBTQ advocate, is Catholic Women Preach’s latest homilist, kicking off the liturgical year with her reflections on the readings for the First Sunday of Advent (which can be found here).
From the Gospel passage from Matthew 34, Gramick focused on these words: “Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.” This passage is about Christ’s Second Coming, and Gramick asks: how we are to be ready for this moment?
In the other readings for the day, Isaiah and Paul offer images as responses to this question, namely that we prepare for the Second Coming by doing the works of peace and justice. Gramick then offers her own image, focused on the picture of two men and two women in the Gospel in the context of her LGBTQ ministry. She draws on her recent travels during which she found “many Catholics in Poland are NOT doing works of justice, peace, and mercy, at least towards LGBT people.” Bondings 2.0 has reported on several of the instances she cites, like Krakow’s Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski claiming the LGBTQ movement is a “rainbow disease.” Gramick continues:
“But isn’t Advent a season of hope? Do I find hope despite this kind of discrimination against LGBT people in Poland and other parts of the world?
“Yes, I really DO have hope. Many things give me hope for a future of peace, justice, and mercy, but I’ll mention only three.
“Equality marches are happening not only in Poland. They are happening all over the world! In the last 20 years I have seen a couple hundred LGBT friendly parishes emerge in the U.S. And many of those parishioners are marching in Pride parades with their parish banners.
“Second, Catholic parents I have worked with give me hope. 20 or 30 years ago these parents were very upset that their gay son or lesbian daughter was no longer going to church. Now these same parents are questioning why the church doesn’t accept their gay son or lesbian daughter. They want ALL their children to be happy and treated equally with the same rights in society and in the church. They are clamoring for peace and justice and mercy.
“Third, Pope Francis gives me great hope for the whole Church. He is calling ALL of us to work as a community, to work in synods. A diocesan synod, for example, is a meeting of the bishop, not only with his advisors, but with parishioners and with people who were brought up Catholic, but no longer go to church. It is a meeting of ALL the Catholic community who come together to express their views on issues of concern, to share faith, and set a direction for a future of peace, justice, and mercy.”
You can view Sr. Gramick’s full homily below or by clicking here. For more information on Catholic Women Preach, which offers the theologically informed perspectives of Catholic women on each Sunday’s readings, with a particular focus on lifting up women in Scripture, click here.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, November 29, 2019