Home
nivo nivo nivo nivo nivo nivo

'Boy Erased' depicts the casualties of gay conversion therapy

I am gay and Catholic. Are you willing to walk in my shoes?

 

Zacchaeus and L.G.B.T. Catholics

By James Martin S.J.

The Gospel of Luke 19 1-10. tells us the beautiful story of Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus. Jesus is traveling through Jericho, a huge city. He’s on his way to Jerusalem, and it’s toward the end of his ministry, so he would have been well known in the area. As a result, he probably had a large crowd following him. In Jericho, there is a man named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region and so would have also been seen by the Jewish people as the “chief sinner.” Why? Because he would have been seen as colluding with the Roman authorities. So, Zacchaeus was someone who was probably on the outs with everyone.

Now, here I would like to invite you to think of Zacchaeus as a symbol for the L.G.B.T. Catholic. Not because the L.G.B.T. people are more sinful than the rest of us—because we’re all sinners. But because they feel so marginalized. Think of the L.G.B.T. person as Zacchaeus.

Luke’s Gospel describes Zacchaeus as “short in stature.” How little “stature” L.G.B.T. people often feel that they have in the church. Luke also says that Zacchaeus could not see Jesus “on account of the crowd.” That was probably because of his height, but how often does the “crowd” get in the way of the L.G.B.T. person encountering Jesus? When are we in the parish part of the “crowd” that doesn’t let L.G.B.T. people come close to God?

So, Zacchaeus climbs a tree, because, as Luke tells us, he wanted to see “who Jesus was.” And this is what the L.G.B.T. person wants: to see who Jesus is. But the crowd gets in the way.

Now here comes Jesus making his way through Jericho, probably with hundreds of people clamoring for his attention. And whom does he point to? One of the religious authorities? One of his disciples? No, to Zacchaeus! And what does he say to Zacchaeus? Does he shout, “Sinner!” Does he shout, “You terrible tax collector”? No! He says, “Hurry down for I must stay at your house today!” It’s a public sign of welcome to someone on the margins.

Then comes my favorite line in the story: “All who saw it began to grumble!” Which is exactly what is happening today toward L.G.B.T. people. People grumble! Go online and you’ll see all the grumbling. An offer of mercy to someone on the margins always makes people angry.

But Zacchaeus climbs down from the tree and, as the Gospels say, he “stood there.” The original Greek is much stronger, statheis: he stood his ground. How often have L.G.B.T. people had to stand their ground in the face of opposition and prejudice in the church?

Then Zacchaeus says that he will give half of his possessions to the poor and repay anyone he has defrauded four times over. An encounter with Jesus leads to a conversion, as it does for everyone. And what do I mean by conversion? Not “conversion therapy.” No, the conversion that happens to Zacchaeus is the conversion that we’re all called to. In the Gospels, Jesus calls it metanoia, a conversion of minds and hearts. For Zacchaeus, conversion meant giving to the poor.

All this comes from an encounter with Jesus. Because Jesus’ approach was, more often than not, community first, conversion second. For John the Baptist the model was to convert first and then be welcomed into the community. For Jesus, it’s community first, conversion second. Welcome and respect come first.

This is how Jesus treats people who feel on the margins. He seeks them out before anyone else; he encounters them, and he treats them with respect, sensitivity and compassion.

So, when it comes to L.G.B.T. people and their families in our parishes, it seems that there are two places to stand. You can stand with the crowd, who grumble and who oppose mercy for those on the margins. Or you can stand with Zacchaeus, and, more important, with Jesus.

If you would liketo read the rest of the article, How parishes can welcome L.G.B.T. Catholics by Father James Martin click here

PARISH NEWS, EVENTS & UPDATES

  • Men's Fellowship

    Attention Men! The Men’s Fellowship, at Resurrection Parish, invites all men of the parish to our bi-monthly meetings on the first and third Wednesday of the month starting at 7:30pm in the Resource Room.  There will be light refreshments.

    We will meet in an informal setting discussing the subject listed in the schedule below. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Deacon Rich at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 973-714-2952. 

     If you are not sure where Catholicism fits into your life, have questions about the faith, or just need your spiritual life reinvigorated this evening’s informal and confidential discussion may be what you’re looking for.

     Men's Fellowship schedule 2018-2019

  • Parish Calendar
  • Returning Catholics
    If you are a Catholic who has been away from regular Mass attendance, please know you are most welcome to join us at any of our worship services and parish functions.  Should you like more information about our parish or should you simply want to talk about coming back home, contact our administrator Fr. John Tarantino, or Deacon Ray, Director of Ministries at 973 895-4224. 

  • New Parishioners
    If you are new to Resurrection Parish or have been coming to Mass for a while, we ask that you stop by and speak with Fr. Tarantino,  about becoming part of our parish family. Registration forms can be found in the Narthex; and can be filled out and put in the collection box - or you can download the registration here.


  • Virtual Tour
651 Millbrook Avenue
Randolph, New Jersey 07869

Office Hours
Monday to Thursday
9:30 am - 12:30 pm
1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Friday
9:30 am - 1:00 pm
 
Phone
973-895-4224

Fax
973-895-3224

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mass Schedule

Weekend Masses
Saturday
5:00 PM

Sunday
7:30 AM
9:30 AM
11:00 AM

Weekday Masses:
Monday - Friday
9:00 AM

Reconciliation:
Saturday
4:00pm - 4:30pm

Holy Day Masses:
As Announced.

Novena To Holy Family:
After Tuesday 9:00 A.M. Mass

Eucharistic Adoration
Mon., Wed., Fri.:
7:45 - 8:45 A.M.

FIRST FRIDAY EACH MONTH
7:45AM to 1:00PM


click for more information

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.