December 2017 Meeting

Created in the Image and Likeness of God (Gen. 1, 26-27)

Opening Prayer

Lord, teach us to pray:

“Our Father…”

The Reading
(To be read by the Leader)

“God created humanity in His image and likeness, in His divine image He created him; male and female He created them….God looked at everything He had made, and He found it very good, (Gen. 1, 27, 31)”

Brothers, last month we established some basic definitions of the terms that are often heard when discussing same sex attraction/transgender issues. Of interest to me is the following. What I like to think of as my state of the art Webster’s Universal College Dictionary, 1999, does not even carry most of the words or terms that we endeavored to define last month. This speaks to me about the swiftness of change in our society and the ever-changing human language that we are experiencing during this time in history.

In 2011 the Episcopal Commission for Doctrine, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote a document addressing “Pastoral Ministry to Young People with Same-Sex Attractions.” In their preamble they state: “We are concerned for the spiritual good of all persons, and want to help them live out their call “to the fullnesss of Christian life and to the perfection of charity.” Convinced that “only what is true can ultimately be pastoral,” we offer this guidance, by way of general principles and pastoral guidelines, to all Catholics, pastors, parents and educators, as well as to young adults themselves.” To be clear the Church does not wish to use terms like gay and lesbian as these are terms that come to us from secular culture and are often used by individuals who advocate that homosexual acts and behaviours are morally acceptable. These behaviors are definitely not morally acceptable in the eyes of the Catholic Church. The bishops are also clear that their letter is not about the origin or cause of homosexuality. “The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained (CCC 2357).” “The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms that person with homosexual inclinations; “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives, (CCC 2358).”

Of note, although sexual identity helps situate the person as a unique individual, the human person can hardly be described by his or her sexual orientation. Those with same-sex attraction are first and foremost human beings, our sisters and brothers in Christ. Because of their inherent dignity, they always deserve our respect. When we adhere to this premise of dignity and respect for the other regardless of creed, culture or orientation we imitate the Good Shepherds love for His flock.

“God created humanity in His image and likeness, in His divine image He created him; male and female He created them….God looked at everything He had made, and He found it very good, (Gen. 1, 27, 31)”

 

The Reflection
(To be read by the Leader)

While it is imperative that we have respect and compassion for those experiencing same-sex attraction, the Church strongly affirms God’s loving plan for human sexuality. Our sexuality is part of the gift that God saw as “very good” when He created us in His image and likeness, male and female He created them. “The complementarity of man and woman is inherent in the design of creation”. “God is love
and in Himself He lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image and continually keeping it in being, God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion…Consequently, sexuality… is by no means something purely biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. (JPII Familaris Consortio # 11).”

Brothers when we reflect on the teaching of the Church and St. John Paul II, what we hear is that our sexuality is not simply part of our human make up in order to procreate the world. We exist as expressions of God’s love and therefore our sexuality, is really an integral part of our very inner self. It is love for the other, an expression of our inner self that impels us to express our love through the act of our sexuality. Viewed in this light, when we hear the phrase about a husband and wife “making love” Church teaching makes very good sense. They are expressing their innermost feelings and love for one another through the act of love making. Scripture and Tradition teach that sexual relations between persons of the same sex are not in accord with God’s original intention expressed in the plan of creation. (scriptural examples are Gn. 18, 20; Lv. 18, 22, 20, 13; – Rom. 1, 24-28; – 1 Cor. 6, 9-10). “For this reason, the Church has consistently taught that homosexual acts can never be approved, (CCC 2358).”

Continued next month.

Created in the Image and Likeness of God (Gen. 1, 26-27)

Meditation Period

(The Leader now invites the members to spend a few moments in silent reflection, as the above text is not meant to be a ready-made answer but a starter for personal reflection on the theme.)

Fraternal Sharing

(The leader now invites the members to share with their Brother Knights any relevant thoughts that came to them during the meditation period.)

Closing Prayer

(Recited by all) Let us pray: “Almighty ever-living God, grant that we may always conform our will to yours and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.”