For me and many other queer Catholics, there have been many moments of feeling like an outcast in the place that I used to call home. There was a period of time where I asked myself, “Are those words, ‘Come, follow me,’ still meant for me as a queer Catholic?
The erosion I sense used to feel like disintegration of my self. Now I can see how much it was the world that saw me as inherently disordered and broken that was slowly being eroded away. Grain of sand by grain of sand, the sin of the world being taken away.
I would encourage us all to consider the John the Baptists in our own lives. Who are the people who speak against the grain, whom you fear to listen to lest you be tarred with the same brush? Who are the people whose messages cause discomfort, not because they are false, but because they are true?
I’m not sure if your experience was like mine while in high school, but my group of friends always sat at the same table in the same seats during lunch time. For the most part, everyone else did the same thing, too. Every now and then though, things would become askew: one group would sit at a different table prompting the entire lunch room to reshuffle.
How often do we welcome people into our own lives who have been exiled from their homes, from their families, and from their own communities of origin? How often do we prepare a place of welcome—places where everyone is honored and authenticity is celebrated?
Christmas came without labels. It came without preconditions. We fulfill that scripture when we accept our queer identities as a perfect reflection of our Creator’s refulgence. Our divine capacity to love authentically, unselfishly, and unconditionally affirms that “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”
Joseph’s actions, both before and after he learns about the means of how Jesus is to be born. According to the law of the times, he should have divorced her. Rather than make a spectacle though, he was planning on doing so quietly to not shame Mary. Joseph’s decision here is a sign of his love for Mary.
Remember, in this Gospel, that even if you are the least of these, you have a great place in Paradise, for the least of the least are the greatest of the great in the eyes of God.