On March 8, 2018, I attended a workshop sponsored by the Archdiocese of Baltimore at Saint Michael’s Catholic Church, Mount Airy, Maryland, entitled “The Catholic Church and Gender Identity.” . . . . I left demoralized.
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“He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area.” This image from today’s gospel is not the way I like to imagine Jesus.
Being a second-generation, Filipinx queer person of color that grew up in the evergreens and lush mountains of the Pacific Northwest, I felt a deep desire to go back home and give back to my community to serve and walk with the majority of students of color coming from low-income backgrounds, who live in a predominantly white city.
As I reflect on today’s readings, neither the desert nor Noah’s ark are speaking loudly to me as they have in years past. Rather, the mention of wild beasts and angels resonates strongly.
“I want to share a few of my hopes. I hope that in our family we are planting the seeds for our future generations, where any person of any of the LGBTQ letters will feel loved and welcomed and safe.”
How different would our church be if we read our sacred scriptures graciously and in the presence of those whom Scripture calls us to be neighbor to—the poor, the hungry, the sick, the imprisoned, and, dare I say, the Muslim or Jewish person?
The nature of Advent is that it is both like the snow that glistens and the ground that does not. Like snow that falls and glistens in the quiet of night, Advent is filled with hope, joy, and familial love. Underneath the snow, however, is the ground that doesn’t glisten—the reality that waits to be faced once the snow melts.
This Sunday, we’re asked to think about John the Baptist. And before Jesus was the Jesus of Nazareth whom we know and love—the one who exorcises demons, the one who heals people, the one who walks on water—Jesus was a person like you and me. Indeed, Jesus was a disciple; Jesus was an eager sidekick. And Jesus’s hero was John.
Advent is often described as a time of cultivating hope, and I sometimes also see it as a time to cultivate patience. As a gay Hispanic worshiping in and working for the Church, patience and hope are virtues that I am obliged to foster. . .
Over the last year and half, the media has focused attention on large, growing divisions in American society. Even in the American Catholic world, divisions both between and within the hierarchy and laity can sometimes become pronounced. For example, the cycle of action and reaction to same-sex marriage continues at all levels in the Catholic Church. Among the worst responses have been when LGBT people are fired from Catholic jobs. Church officials proclaim “scandal,” seemingly oblivious to the fact that their own actions and communications are exceedingly cruel and scandalous.
The cycle of outrage continues with the recent news that a second U.S. diocese – Madison, Wisconsin, under the leadership of Bishop Robert Morlino – has determined that funerals should be denied to people in same gender civil marriages. Morlino joins Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois who gave similar directions to his diocesan personnel last summer, prompting quite a backlash.
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