How often are we, as queer Catholics, expelled from the synagogue and thrown out of the community for insisting on telling our stories honestly? And yet—how often, as queer Catholics, have we discovered the truth in that simple line buried in the middle of this Gospel: “when Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him”
What Jesus doesn’t do - ever - is hold the outcast responsible for being on the outside. The only time he places blame it is with those who exclude and condemn thinking the difference between us and them is in the quality of the person, not the wall thrown up to divide. If you’re in a space where you feel like you’re on the outside of the Church, let me say this as unequivocally as I can. It is not your fault. If you don’t feel welcome. It is not your fault.
What happens when you do everything the Church asks of you as a gay Catholic, and it just doesn't work? Husbands Pat & Jacob Flores talk with Christopher Dowling.
I’m reminded of God’s invitation, and for many of us a challenging invitation, to take off our masks one at a time and reveal who we are to ourselves, before a God who loves us, and to others. The task of self-revelation (coming out if you will) can often be a slow and painful process of healing. It is a process of encountering Christ in the very place I was told I couldn’t find Him; in myself.
Jesus won by surrendering to God and, more importantly, by surrendering to his enemies. This is the real “hard truth” of the gospels. We are called to love our enemies and to pray for them. When we are hurt by someone, we have to see them through the eyes of Christ: flawed, but worthy. We have to remember that all things will be made new, even the people who persecute us.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend a racial justice workshop sponsored by ACTION, a faith-based organizing collaborative in my hometown.
A naive interpretation is to say that we are to simply stand by and pray while evil takes its course, that “when someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one as well”. But I don’t think that anybody wants to do this. We are members of a church that has, intentionally or not, historically wronged us. What mercy means here is not that we tolerate mistreatment, but rather that our faith is a rallying cry.