The starting point is the assumption that queer people are good, holy, and capable of love exactly as they are. We won’t be tackling Scripture passages that have been used in non-affirming ways or Catechism references which imply otherwise.
In times of great mental distress, heart-wrecking grief, or that deep-seated loneliness, I must be careful not to fall into self-destructive behaviors or thoughts. On the contrary, meditation allows one to dip below their humanity to touch their soul connection with God.
I felt like if I joined the priesthood, I would be betraying my community in some way. I also began to realize that part of me wanted to join so that I could run away from my sexuality.
I don’t mind tax collectors and prostitutes getting in before me. It adds up. They’re people who aren’t afraid to own who they are and what their lives are really like. And then there’s me.
They can be incredibly useful, bestowing a sense of belonging or understanding to concepts or feelings that once confused or created distance.
However, this parable challenges us to look at the situation differently: not with our own needs and desires placed at the forefront, but rather those of our neighbors. By removing one’s ego from the equation, the grander scheme comes into focus: all of the laborers were able to acquire meaningful work and take home the promised compensation of a day’s wages. Similarly, the facts of this circumstance can be applied to our personal relationships, both with God and others in our community. Let us not resent the happy occasion when our neighbors endeavor to draw nearer to Christ, regardless of the hour, and are rewarded generously for their efforts. Instead, let us celebrate the fulfillment of God’s goodness wherever we can, united as a community that embraces compassion and upholds the dignity of all.
Unity that requires us to put away our trauma for someone else’s comfort is not healing. What would conversations in our churches look like if we stopped talking about division and started talking about oppression?
We often find ourselves trying to rewrite the past of what could have been and can’t get past the story we make up in our own minds. We look for another way, some of us try to get even, we lie, curse and play games back at the one who wronged us in some way.
One thing that has occurred to me of late is that maybe a watchmen’s role is not just to call out wickedness when we see it, but also to call out and recognize goodness when it’s present in somebody’s life. Maybe as watchmen, we are called to be witnesses to the fruit LGBTQ+ relationships are bearing.
Yes, I am terrified at the faintest glimpse of the real cost of discipleship. But God is exquisitely tender and patient and understands the weakness of my flesh, and recently I have found myself for the first time in my life given to see something of the joy that lies ahead - a fuller understanding of love, a gift not just for me, but for the whole church! Day by day I see more clearly the goodness of the news I have been given, how much Love is nurturing those parts of me I thought long destined for the grave.