‘The sick soul fears more than anything else the demands made on one who is well.’ Joseph Pieper When the Holy Spirit blew open Jesus’ tomb, God blew away our excuses for living half-lives. The very Spirit that liberated Jesus from sin and death summons us from our tombs as well. We must choose. Will we leave our prisons, now that the door has been opened? Will we lay claim to the ground of the new creation or remain in the shadows, more comfortable in grave clothes than in robes of righteousness?
Pope Emeritus Benedict describes personal encounter with Jesus Christ as the opening of a new horizon. It is as if the Risen Lord blows away the pollutants that have prevented us from beholding a range of mountains. Their imposing beauty beckons us; we know that somehow our destiny lies in following Jesus to the summit. Here we face real fears: alive to the Creator and Redeemer of all, will we become who we are by following Him into our destiny?
Many excuse themselves from the path and the goal, citing any number of weaknesses. In the arena of sexual recovery, becoming chaste seems impossible; the barriers to fruitful, faithful love with another person seem insurmountable.
The world provides many excuses. Note these excuses generated by gay activists. Homosexual identity and practice become a closed horizon for anyone with same-gender attraction. The gay self becomes a new ethnos, a genetically-inspired destiny devoid of any choice and thus free from moral meaning. Rather than open prison doors, such activists pad the prison and convince the vulnerable that this is their destiny. ‘By appealing to lustful desires, they entice people who are barely escaping from those who live in error. Offering freedom, they are slaves themselves…’ (2P2: 18, 19)
I winced at how the NY Times Sunday Magazine featured covers on two consecutive Easter Sundays that employed homosexuality to mock the resurrection. Last year’s feature highlighted ‘gay’ Easter bunnies as a serious attempt to prove the goodness of gay practice among humans (I kid you not.) This year’s Easter story charted how Obama hid his pro-gay marriage agenda at the beginning of his presidency until it was safe to ‘come out’ without crucifying political alliances. So much for Christian integrity. Still, the NY Times lauded Obama’s courage as a symbol of new life, the dawn of a new day for America. In truth, what Obama and the Times did was put the stone back on the tomb for persons with SSA.
Time for Christians to take seriously the real power of Resurrection. Perhaps those of us who are tempted to return to the tomb of gay identity and practice can lead the way. Filled with power from on high, our eyes wide open to see the summit before us, let us follow the Lord of Life and discover our real destinies: beloved children of the Father, and pure gifts to one another.
We shall face countless obstacles to get off track; see these barriers as the proving ground for your own commitment. When discouraged, recognize how badly you need help. Secure help from all the saints; grow in trust and humility. The mountains are nearer today than yesterday. Jesus is taking new ground in you as you take the ground He won for you in His resurrection.
“Peter preached: ‘God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact…’ The people hearing this were cut to the heart and asked, ‘What shall we do?’ Peter replied: ‘Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…’ And he pleaded with them: ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’”(Acts 2:32-40)