Good afternoon from a slightly cloudy London.
Last night we were very blessed here in our parish house to have another hour of guided Eucharistic Adoration by Paul.
Prayer isn’t Paul’s only gift as he had just cooked a delicious meal for us. You’ve heard the phrase
“Jack of all trades, master of none”
Well in Paul’s case it would seem to be
“Jack of all traders, master of all trades”
He certainly puts me to shame anyway!
In this guided adoration Paul points out how Jesus firstly appeared to the women after his resurrection and that the apostles didn’t believe them as women weren’t considered much at that time.
Paul leads us to understanding that Jesus often still works in the same way. He reveals Himself to unlikely people and just like those women, often these people are disbelieved and doubted too.
It made me think of my own life journey and ministry to the church and gay community. How I too along with Seamus and Toni am a very unlikely candidate for such a ministry.
And yet here we are, God has chosen us and on we go doing what we are doing.
You too may for different reasons be God’s unlikely chosen one and if you are then please consider taking half an hour and listening to this reflection.
It took time for the news of the resurrection to be believed by the apostles and church and yet Jesus somehow prepared the apostles through these women.
Although the apostles didn’t believe them, these women caused the apostles to doubt if it could be true, to wonder, to speculate. Afterwards Jesus appeared to them Himself to confirm it!
When it comes to ministry to the gay community it is similar. People like us are sent ahead of the apostles just like those women. We rush back to share our hope and experience of God’s love and acceptance of gay people and our enthusiasm is so often met with doubt and scepticism. Yet seeds are being sown and people are talking and debating about the issue and wondering if what we are saying could actually be right!
Everyone knows that LGBT people exist. Everyone knows that the church lacks clear theology and pastoral care in these areas and everybody knows that Jesus loves everybody including them.
Everybody also knows that people don’t chose to be gay or trans and that such people are the object of a lot of bullying which clearly isn’t right.
What everybody doesn’t know is how LGBT people can be accepted and integrated into the church without putting impossible burdens and restrictions on them.
And this is where our message is controversial just like the women who were saying that Jesus had risen from the dead were controversial.
Same sex relationships are perfectly ok and just as a married couple are called to grow in holiness so too can two people of the same sex grow in holiness and love for eachother.
As a modern pop song puts it;
“If our love is wrong then I don’t ever want to be right”
Love is love. There is no such thing as gay love or straight love only just love.
Whether in a same sex relationship or opposite sex relationship the same love will stretch us to being better people. To being more kind, more thoughtful, more considerate. We will make mistakes and through prayer and personal reflection we will grow.
And so today I once again pray for the gay community and for the church. That the Lord will send many more apostles of love and hope and that our church leaders will elaborate on their theology and base it on the lived experience of the people of God and that the good news of the resurrection which was slow to be believed at the start may be a source of love, hope, joy and freedom to our church and LGBT community.
Have a wonderful day and enjoy the adoration/ meditation video.
Blessings to all,