GENESIS: Being Created
That every single person has inherent value is the doctrine expressed at the very beginning of the book of Genesis. Being created in the image of God also includes the capacity for relationships (with God and others) and most importantly, that the one who is created is the visible representation of an invisible God.
- What does it mean for you to be created in the image and likeness of God? How does your LGBT identity or ally role fit into that description?
- What aspects of your life most strongly reflect the image and likeness of God? Or, in other words, what do you see as the vocation that God has offered you?
- The Genesis story tells that God created human beings with the need for companionship with other people. “Bone of my bone” and “flesh of my flesh” are phrases that describe companionship as intensely intimate. How do you develop intimacy in your relationships? Is God a part of that intimacy with others? What do you see as the role of physical and/or sexual contact in your intimate relationships?
- The Genesis accounts seem to promote a heteronormative model for intimate relationships. How does your understanding of sexuality and gender identity relate to this model? Are there other scriptural or religious models or images for relationships that you find more relevant or powerful for you?
- What prevents you from seeing other people created in the image and likeness of God?
- Does the inclusion of gender terms “male and female” in the description of being made in the image and likeness of God help or hurt your relationship with the Divine?
Though created in the image and likeness of God, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics often experience being ignored, marginalized, excluded, insulted, and even persecuted by their own church. If you are struggling with being an LGBT person in the Catholic church, Fr. James Martin, S.J. offers five things to remember.