Prayer for the World, May 31, 2023
Feast of the Visitation: Inclusion & Hospitality
On this feast of inclusion and hospitality between Mary and Elizabeth, we take time to reflect on our own inclusion and hospitality towards the LGBTQ community. We are in a time when the United States continues to create laws that discriminate and dehumanize this community, especially those who are transgender. Are we truly welcoming to these brothers and sisters? For our reflection, we will read part of Cardinal Robert Mc Elroy’s open letter on Radical Inclusion, printed in America Magazine in January 2023.
Song: Youtube.com, “What have we done for the Poor Ones?”
Focus for our Prayer
“‘Enlarge the Space of Your Tent,’ the document issued last year by the Holy See to capture the voices of men and women from around the world who have participated in the synodal process, concluded that “the vision of a church capable of radical inclusion, shared belonging and deep hospitality according to the teachings of Jesus is at the heart of the synodal process.”
It is important to note that the synodal dialogues have given substantial attention to the exclusions of L.G.B.T. Catholics beyond the issue of the Eucharist. There were widespread calls for greater inclusion of L.G.B.T. women and men in the life of the church, and shame and outrage that heinous acts of exclusion still exist.
It is a demonic mystery of the human soul why so many men and women have a profound and visceral animus (deep feelings of hatred) toward members of the L.G.B.T. communities. The church’s primary witness in the face of this bigotry must be one of embrace rather than distance or condemnation. The distinction between orientation and activity cannot be the principal focus for such a pastoral embrace because it inevitably suggests dividing the L.G.B.T. community into those who refrain from sexual activity and those who do not. Rather, the dignity of every person as a child of God struggling in this world, and the loving outreach of God, must be the heart, soul, face and substance of the church’s stance and pastoral action.” (Open letter from Cardinal McElroy America January 24, 2023)
On this feast of the Visitation we open our hearts to the LGBTQ community and offer hospitality and the embrace of inclusion.
We pray to be aware of our own need for inclusion and welcome and not use our brokenness as a means to exclude others.
We pray to see LGBTQ rights as human rights and discriminatory laws as challenges to the dignity of our sisters and brothers.
We pray to offer not only our prayers but our time to educate ourselves on the issues and then face them, especially discrimination and persecution.
We pray for our Church to become a place of welcome for all God’s children regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.
We pray for our LGBTQ sisters and brothers that they may experience love, acceptance and know they are recognized as part of God’s family and our families too.
We pray for the success of the Synod of the Church, this coming October, where the issues of radical inclusion and hospitality will be discussed.