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.
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