Friday, October 29

Roman church and teh Dignity folk.

In a comment made over at In Exsilium, a fella said that gay folks were intimately aware of their own failings because they are brought up at every opportunity and, because of that, the Dignity masses were more grace-filled than pre-V2 masses.  The comment pretty instantly brought to mind last Sunday's gospel reading, the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.

'Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.

"Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.  The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity -- greedy, dishonest, adulterous -- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’  But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.'

I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted." '(Luke 18:9-14)

Now, I can make a wonderful homily linking homosexuals with tax collectors, but that's where I get stuck.  Matthew (and the dude in the parable) chose to be a tax collector.  Jimmy and Susie didn't choose to be gay.  They are no less or more prone to sin, to failure than the tax collector OR the pharisee in the story.  How does that go again, Paul? "All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God".

That said, I will make a link between the Pharisee and the modern church.  The Pharisees were holy lawyers, pious men who studied the scriptures and understood the law intimately.  Further, they believed in ensuring purity of faith in the face of secular assimilation.  In scripture, they are quick to judge others.

Both men in this parable believe and pray.  The upright man who is admired by the community is no more or less righteous by his nature than the morally questionable man who is an anathema in polite society.  Performing rites and making external shows of faith do nothing for the disposition of one's soul. Religion isn't about you or what others think about you.

It's about Him.

It is about loving Him and loving your neighbour. 

That is what religion is about.

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