Monday, 09 April 2012
Yesterday was Easter Sunday and as all those who regularly go to church know, Easter Sunday is the one day of the year when the church is packed and you have to go to church more than 15 minutes ahead of service instead of right when service begins. I arrived early and, as I sat down to wait for church to begin, two other guys sat down beside me.
Now this is where it becomes a very sensitive issue. Today in Homily, the Father talked about how even though Jesus knew Judas was going to betray him, he still welcomed him into the garden and paradise with a kiss. He welcomed a sinner.I don't want to make assumptions or anything, and I am not sure, but it seemed like they were a couple. Even if they weren't gay, what came to my mind is still an issue that I haven't been able to put down since this morning. It might have been the way they dressed or the way they acted, but it felt as if they were indeed together.What really hit me was when the man sitting right beside me started tearing up during Mass.
He knew all the songs, all the prayers, everything. He gave me the impression that as a child, he was raised Christian and went to church regularly, but eventually, at some point in his life, he came out and told people of his sexual orientation. His tears made me feel as if, although he wanted to belong to the Church, he no longer felt welcomed or that he was rejected, or that he knew his life would be constantly judged as a homosexual in this religion which called it a sin.
But he came today, on Easter Sunday, the one day when everyone comes to celebrate Jesus's resurrection, and he teared up during Mass. I can't quite explain how I felt when he teared up, it seemed to me as if he believed in God but the religion was simply not accepting. I wanted really badly to tell him, that if he is indeed gay, that I love him just as much and that there are others in the community who do as well. And although I am only a child in my faith, I honestly do not believe that it is our place to judge others.Obviously it would've have been weird if I did told him that, but at the same time, I feel as if it might've given him some hope that he could come back to the Church, even as a homosexual in the life he lived; or at the very least, give him the knowledge that not all of us thinks his entire life is a sin and that he chose to be gay. I didn't say it, but it has kept me thinking throughout the day and I really want to ask others of their opinion on it.My experiences and views on homosexuality is definitely quite different from most people as I have encountered and are friends with more gays/lesbians than most people. I have no idea whether homosexuality is a phase or whether they chose it, or even if it is a sin. But what I know is that they, too, are humans and children of God. I realize that as a Catholic, the Church says that it is a sin for a man to love another man -- or a woman to love another woman -- but I honestly don't believe God gave us the power to judge them, it is His authority, not ours. But then again, I don't know when the line ends and where the next one begins when I put it this way.Jesus welcomed everyone, even Judas the sinner who would betray him and eventually commit suicide. Being welcoming, isn't this exactly contrary to a majority of Christian's hatred towards homosexuals? Once again, I am only a child but when I think about it, Christ also said that to enter His kingdom, we must be like children. A child is innocent and non-judgemental, they will befriend everyone if they were allowed to choose and grow up on their own, away from the influences of others. God created everyone just the same, heterosexuals and homosexuals, just like them, we, too, often sin, wouldn't He also welcome us into His kingdom?I have no idea how to go about this topic, whether I should raise it to the priest and discuss about the issue. But today, I really paid attention to it when I experienced the man in Church cry, I know that as someone who is a believer in Christ and someone who is accepting of homosexuals this is something that will probably bug me for a really long time.
Did you see anyone at church on Easter who you weren't expecting to see? How did you go about welcoming them to church? How can we encourage those yearly returners to come back the next week?