Leading the Church Beyond Toleration to the Celebration of LGBTQ Holiness

Yunuen Trujillo

Today’s post is from Yunuen Trujillo, who is an Immigration Attorney, a Faith-Based Community Organizer, and a Lay Minister. She is also the Religious Formation Coordinator (Spanish) with the Catholic Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and the founder of the Instagram @LGBTCatholics.

Today’s liturgical readings for Divine Mercy Sunday can be found by clicking here.

“The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” -Psalm 118:22

Today’s responsorial psalm fills us with joy as it reminds us that God’s love and mercy is everlasting and unlimited. God is our strength in times of weakness, our courage in times of fear, our joy in times of victory, and our help when we are falling. God is all of that and more.

If all of this is true, why is it that sometimes we don’t feel that joy, strength, and courage? Why is it that sometimes we feel alone or that hate and evil overpowered love and good? As someone involved in LGBT Ministry, I have felt this fear and utter loneliness many times. I have been judged based on prejudices. I have been condemned to the fire of hell by “good Catholics” who don’t even know me. I have felt utterly alone. I imagine that feeling of abandonment is but a minuscule fraction of what Jesus must have felt upon his death.

Fear and hopelessness, however, cloud our vision and prevent us from clearly seeing the whole picture. In today’s gospel, the disciples are so afraid that they hide behind locked doors for fear of being killed the way Jesus was. They thought it was all over: their hopes destroyed, their lives meaningless It was precisely at this low point that Jesus started making his presence known to the disciples. Thomas, who was not present the first time Jesus appeared, refused to believe until he saw him personally. Jesus said to him, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Jesus refused to practice anything but unconditional love for those who were most vulnerable and marginalized–a paradigm shift that placed the marginalized at the center. He came to show us that no rule is more important than love, the love of self, of others, and of God. Only in the revolutionizing power of love can we find God. No other place, no other thing can lead to God but love.

As LGBT Catholics and allies it is hard sometimes to believe that one day we might get to the point as a society and as a Church where the lives and journeys of LGBT persons are not only tolerated, but celebrated! A world where our lives, our experiences, and our relationships are seen for what they are: holy. We find it hard to believe because we are still in the journey and much of what we see and hear is not yet the fulfillment of that hope.

“Feast of Divine Mercy” by Stephen B. Whatley

Yet, that world is happening, too. There are already spaces of welcoming and efforts to make our Church a more pastoral place for LGBT Catholics, pieces of heaven on earth. The Holy Spirit is moving, She is speaking, She is moving hearts and transforming minds, She is inspiring dialogue. She is already here! That world of affirmation is already coming into being, whether we see it or not.

“The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”. God is speaking to its Church through our lived experience as LGBT people and allies. God–a mysterious God–is revealing a part of its mystery through us. “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Just like the disciples are called by Jesus to receive the Holy Spirit and go out into the world to minister, so is the Holy Spirit calling us to minister to its Church. We are vessels of God’s love, and we are instrumental in the revelation of God to its Church. We are God’s beloved.

Rejoice, be hopeful!

As Latin American writer Facundo Cabral beautifully wrote in his poem titled, “You are not depressed, you are distracted”:

“Love until you become the beloved; better yet, love until you become love itself… And don’t let a few homicides [] confuse you, Good is the majority, but it’s unnoticed because it’s silent. A bomb makes more noise than a caress but for every bomb that destroys there are millions of caresses that nourish life.”

Live and bring life to others. God lives in you, and She absolutely adores you.

Yunuen Trujillo, April 11, 2021

1 reply
  1. Cheryl Rogers
    Cheryl Rogers says:

    Yunuen thank you for your article. I recall as a young woman in the early 1970’s being asked to speak a Presbyterian Conference being held in Niagara Falls, as the newspaper put it I was representative of all ‘lesbians in Western NY” After the presentation, and elder woman of the church came up to me and very angrily…..held a bible up to my face, shook it, told me I was going to hell and that she would pray for me, I smiled surprisingly at peace and told her ‘thank you we all need prayers, I will also pray for you’. A second experience was when in Buffalo, when the bishop was holding ‘Listening Sessions’ on Mary, I went and took my time at the microphone, spoke of Mary’s utter strength of faith and use of free will, as a strong independent young woman who loved God and humanity and freely chose the “YES” in surrender. When I got back to my seat, a Catholic woman holding her rosary and her husband next to her, turned around to face me also taking their Bible in hand and again shaking it in my face almost hitting me telling me that I am NOT a Catholic and should not be here and not welcome and need to leave’ She repeated some other platitudes of me being a sinner and going to hell. When she was done she and he both turned around in their righteousness and I continued to remain also. So thank you for your article….. now in my 72nd yr of life, then in my 20’s I recall both of those stories and how I with God have remained strong in my faith, my lesbian orientation, and in my determination to remain Catholic despite the countless times in my life the ‘Good Catholics’ have tried to force me out. Thank you John McNeill, Jeannine Gramick, and Fr. Bob and countless other more progressive ‘Good Catholics” who have helped me ‘carry my cross’ in situations like you, I and countless unnamed others who have had to keep up the litany that ‘we are chosen. we are blessed. we are made very good. we are God’s children.” Thank you Yunuan keep up your doing and serving with fortitude that can only be a gift of Spirit.

    Your sister in faith,
    Cheryl

    Reply

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