A very good Sunday to you all! This Sunday is mission Sunday as we pray for missionaries all over the world.
And what’s the mission?
To make Jesus known, to make the need for prayer and repentance known and to make the merciful love of God known!
Nowadays sadly all over the church and all over the world we have taken the love and mercy bit and ignored the hard work of repentance, prayer, intercession, reparation etc.
Of course these are not the things people want to hear about but if you go to the doctor you don’t want to hear that you have got cancer or whatever and yet if you’ve got it you’ve got it! The good news isn’t that it doesn’t exist but that the doctor has a cure and similarly with sin! The good news of the gospel isn’t that sin doesn’t exist but rather that God has sent us an answer.
And on this note I was recently reflecting on my own mission to the gay Catholic community and was recently talking with a lady who used to pray the rosary outside the masses organized for gay people years ago.
At a first glance to most people she’d come across as a homophobic old bat who should mind her own business but yet there was much more to the story.
Being a deep woman of prayer and being very familiar with the lives of the saints and the mystics she knew well that Jesus loved these gay people just as much as anyone else.
So what was she doing praying outside the mass then?
Her issue wasn’t at all with the mass being for gay people but it was around the seeming absence of proper preaching and teaching about the mass, the sacraments and prayer.
You see the sacraments are something very sacred and we are supposed to receive them with as much love as possible and be in a state of grace.
Mass is not just a party where everyone is welcome and everyone can participate in the same way.
We are dealing with the spiritual, with the sacred and we must prepare and make concrete efforts to live lives of prayer and holiness.
Priests who do not teach people about this and help people to reform their lives do not do anybody any favours and in the end the ‘gay masses ‘ had the reputation of being a catholic pick up joint for gay people rather than a place of prayer and conversion.
And so this lady and others were praying the rosary, not in protest of there being a mass for gay people but in protest of mass and the sacred being turned into a farce!
Of course the gay people could say that this is homophobic but the reality is that whether we are gay or straight we are all called to repentance and holiness.
It’s also true that in my experience I’ve met quite few gay Catholics who are not interested in much more than gay people being accepted in the church.
And yes, of course gay people should be accepted in the church but of course the gay people should accept the church too and the calling of Jesus to living lives of prayer.
It works both ways!
And it is with this spirit of both prayer and openness that we will be having monthly Medjugorje prayer evenings for LGBT Catholics and their friends and families! There will be no mention of conversion therapy or trying to make people straight but there will be lots of mention of the conversion of heart which every single one of us needs.
Our dream is to see the catholic church full of LGBT people who go to mass and confession regularly, who love Our Lady, who pray the rosary and go to adoration and who will teach other people to do so too.
If we achieve that then I’m sure that nobody will feel the need to pray the rosary outside in protest but rather they’ll come in and join us!
So please friends, on this mission Sunday pray for Our mission to bring as many LGBT people as possible into deep lives of prayer, holiness and happiness!
Have a beautiful day,