Same-sex Marriage Ruling & A Pastor’s Desire to Love
“The difference between man and woman…
is for the sake of communion and generation,
always in the image and likeness of God.”
–Pope Francis, General Audience April 15, 2015
I have given much consideration to the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling. As your pastor, it is my desire to address this important issue. It is impossible in one space to address the many facets, so I offer now what is of primary importance. I believe, as does the Church, in the fundamental goodness of the human person created in the image and likeness of God. He personally knows us, loves us and has a plan for us.
This plan includes discovering which human desires are for our personal and societal good and which desires are not. Much of the sexual norms common in modern culture are not for our personal good or the good of society. I am not surprised by the Supreme Court’s ruling, it is the continuation of a long journey of changing moral norms in our country. It is saddening and frustrating to me that a reasonable, historical, and faithful belief in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman is now increasingly perceived as hating people who experience homosexuality.
I have personally walked with gay people and listened to their joys and hopes, sorrows and pains. I’ve eaten at their tables and visited their homes. I don’t hate them. However, not all desires inside a person are from God and not all desires should be acted upon. I love people enough to want them to know this. I desire to be a minister of the Church who offers the Gospel message of freedom and love provided in Jesus Christ. I desire for any person, heterosexual or homosexual, to know that I am open to them and their search for God. I’m saddened that people might be afraid to seek guidance from me or the Church because of perceived hate. The Church has a proposal of God’s love for all people, which is both reasonable and purposeful, and offers the possibility of happiness in this life.
It is this purpose for human sexuality that I share with every couple in marriage preparation. In simplest terms, the natural observable facts can help us choose between our desires. Biology is where to begin. A male person and a female person are biologically created to unite. The union of these two persons is intended to bring about a new life: a new person. This reality is beautiful and is what the Catholic Church is speaking to when it defines marriage. The permanence of marriage, between these two people, follows as a right of the child to be raised by his or her biological parents. This is a message not just for married couples but for everyone. Every person in society should have an interest in both the next generation and that generation’s healthy flourishing.
Finally, every person created in the image and likeness of God struggles with personal sin. We are freed from darkness through the grace and mercy of God. This freedom is possible because the Father “shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) This is the Good News: Through Jesus Christ, every human person can experience the truth that we are known and we are loved! This is God’s plan, which He desires to share with the world. May we have the courage to be His instruments.
May St. Lambert intercede for us, Our Lady watch over us and Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ reveal Himself to us. When He does, may we change.