Today’s liturgical readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter can be found here.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. (John 14:26)
Have you ever felt hopeless? afraid? tired? These feelings are very often echoed in LGBTQ Ministry. Many of us often question why we have to fight to create inclusive spaces in the one space where vulnerable communities, such as our own, should automatically be protected. Why do we have to create our own welcoming spaces? Isn’t this the responsibility of the hierarchy?
Many of us have felt afraid for a good portion of our lives, afraid to be ourselves, afraid of our family’s response, afraid of our communities’ response, afraid of God, among other things.
The time to be afraid is over.
After Jesus was crucified, feelings of fear and exhaustion plagued the disciples. Not only had their teacher been killed and condemned, but their hopes for what Jesus represented seemed to have died with him. To some, Jesus represented a salvation in the spiritual realm. Others, saw Jesus as a revolutionary hero who would literally free them from poverty and other social ills. Some saw him as a combination of both. Whatever people believed Jesus was going to bring, it seemed to have died with him. The disciples did not understand what was to come next. The Holy Spirit, the Advocate would breathe its life-giving power to mark a new beginning.
More than 2,000 years later, we are at a similar crossroads. An institutional Church that is too afraid to open the windows and let the air come in, too afraid to get close to the wounds of those it has hurt, too afraid of change, too afraid to lose its power, is now receiving a new life-giving breath. The Holy Spirit is moving through us, LGBTQ Catholics and our families. Change–true change–does not come from the top down.
We are all called to build the Kingdom of God, in the here and the now. We are called not to wait for change to happen, but to be change makers. We are called to continue the labor of love, of compassion, or radical solidarity that was the trademark of early Christian communities. We are called to positions of leadership and to delegate, so that no person involved in LGBTQ Ministry ever feels like they are doing all the work alone. We are called to connect with each other, so we can share resources and organize together. We are called to no longer be afraid. We are not alone.
Our grassroots movement is a movement of the Holy Spirit. In today’s gospel reading, Jesus says, “[t]he Holy Spirt . . . will teach you everything”. The Holy Spirit reminds the universal Church that there is still a lot to learn about God, that there is still a lot God is revealing about Herself. At the same time, the Holy Spirit reminds the universal Church that the only place it can start its journey of learning and discernment from, is from a place of love. Unconditional, revolutionary, radical love; going back to its roots and standing with Jesus.
In rooting ourselves in Jesus and the Gospels, we put aside all the extra commentary, leaving space in our minds, and hearts, for new learning and growth. It is not a matter of if the Church will one day fully celebrate us as Children of God; it is a matter of when. The Holy Spirit cannot be contained.
—Yunuen Trujillo, May 22, 2022