At Pride’s End, Boasting Only in the Broken Body of Christ
By Marco Casanova
I came to Mass wearied. Not surprised that Pride Month intensifies familiar vulnerabilities, I wanted reprieve. I felt alone in my struggle and deficient of masculine strength. As I grow in love for my girlfriend and take more responsibility in my ministry work, the challenge of ‘becoming’ can feel overwhelming at times.
I was hungry, broken ground for the Savior. I needed Jesus’ Body to free me in mine (Lk 22:19). Only His potent sacrifice can restore my self-gift.
Lo and behold, it was the Feast of Corpus Christi (Latin: Body of Christ). The head of our diocese, Bishop Johnston, presided over the packed house in Mass then led us on parade through the streets with the Eucharist raised high (customary for this 800-year-old feast).
Our parish is positioned in the heart of ‘gayborhood KC’; the procession was sure to intersect with the ‘rainbow community.’ The bishop chuckled as he recalled another Eucharistic procession coinciding with a ‘drag queen parade.’ ‘Be prepared for anything,’ he told us.
When we take Jesus to the streets, anything can happen. The Savior wants to meet His people. We marched in humble love, following the One who desires all to be saved (1 Tim 2:3-4).
Our route flanked by rows of homes decked with ‘pride’ flags. You could feel the juxtaposition. Yet the procession was serene. No interferences: just the quiet hum of a humble Body of believers singing hymns to Jesus. It was powerful and convicting. It strengthened and fed me.
The ‘body liberties’ of today’s LGBTQI+ fad/heresy leave us perpetually broken, hungry and exhausted. R. Reno of First Things writes, ‘Pride Month valorizes homosexuality, which our age regards as exemplary in large part because it fulfills the ideal of the sexual revolution: sex freed from nature, which is to say freed from fertility’.
Jesus’ Body liberates mine to be virile in my self-gift and fruitful in my masculine capacity as son and father. The Church reminded me of that on Corpus Christi. Jesus is the man I want to be. His humanity is the basis of mine.
We passed a ‘gay’-identified couple sitting on the porch. As we processed, their eyes were fixed on this strange public display of devotion. They appeared pensive. I felt an urge to go up to them and invite them. I hesitated. Why? A little intimidated? Did this procession evangelize for itself? Whatever my reluctance was, I later felt convicted by Jesus. ‘Take courage, Marco. I am sending you to be My sign, My Body carried in yours.’ Strong Jesus needs willing members to be His inviting hand and voice.
It was a prophetic call. He binds my wounds and feeds my hungry heart to send me out. Pride Month ends but our boast in His broken Body is just breaking out! *Photos taken from www.catholickey.org.