It is my habit to arrive early for Sunday Mass and try to place myself in a proper mindset. One of things that I have found illuminating and a proper focus is the stained glass above the alter. It is a glorious Risen Christ portrait. The building itself is situated such that the moring light through this stained glass is breathtakingly beautiful. It has become a focal point for me every time I sit in the pew. Another part of my ritual is going through all the readings for the upcoming service. In this way I do not have to read along as the words are proclaimed by the lector. I hope that I can then get a feel for the Spirit proclaiming those words through the person reading them.
As I sat this part Sunday and read the Gospel in my silence I was struck yet again by the stained glass shining down on me. The stained glass colors are as bright as any pride flag, brighter than anything we ourselves can make. It is that synergy of meds or Vulcan philosophy where the sum of our parts is greater than any simple math could provide. Whomever created the image could take pride in a work that I feel transcends the mere selection of glass, the cutting and placing to create the image I see.
The Gospel message from Matthew here today made me think also on Gay pride. Perhaps by exception, I feel challenged and hurt by those errant individuals who say that being prideful about being gay is wrong. And yet, I have a different experience, I hold a different and important truth that transcends being gay.
It is not a human boast to revel in the gift of who we are as created by God. Let us not boast of anything of human design, judgement or designation but in the created beauty imbued in each of us for the glory of Her name.
Just as the beauty of my stained glass muse is beautiful in its own right but elevated by God in its vision, message and meaning, so to the beauty of being gay is not an action but a celebration of a unique person and the capabilities, challenges and essence of the person. By accepting oneself, gay or otherwise, and the unique gifts and talents so imbued, we take pride in the fact that God made us this way and wishes us to live out Her plan for creation by honoring who we are. It is not a pride in a human accomlishent of our own but pride in a cooperation of a plan of divesity and beauty, as beautiful as the most beautiful and radiant stained glass.
I pray today as always, that we accept the gifts that God has created in us and as a unique individual. We are a peice of cut crystal for the most beautiful of stained glass to help give a total vision of Gods love and light. Take pride in whom God created you to be.Without you the picture of Gods love is no complete, nor as glorious as She intends.
‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.