Gay Marriage: The only way forward

With the bill regulating gay unions (or gay marriages) on our doorstep, we Christians stand at a fork leading us in two very different directions.

Having discussed this matter with many people during the past few weeks, I am under the impression that the first direction is the one many of us are taking. I have met many people speaking of gay unions as if it is the end of the world, as a catastrophe and as a sign which indicates the moral fibre of our society is spiralling downwards.
The second direction is to look at the current situation and ask: What are we, as Church and Christians, going to do in this situation? We all know what the teaching and theology regarding marriage states; it is not my intention to repeat any of it here. But is it maybe more important to remind gay people about the great love that God has bestowed on them, that they are called children of God? Isn’t Jesus the Saviour of the gay people as well?

Whenever there is this gay-union issue, let us not point fingers at others thinking that we (the straight ones) are holy, putting our minds at rest and labeling others as “sinners”. One practical hint for us is maybe remember that we are all sinners – for when we forget how sinful we are, we will start judging others – thinking we are holier than “them”. We become the Pharisees of the 21st century. Isn’t badmouthing someone, refraining from doing good, believing that the words of Jesus apply for others and not ourselves a greater sin than someone who genuinely loves a person of the same sex? Or are Jesus’ words “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” superfluous and obsolete?

Yes – let us remind the people about the beautiful and profound meaning of the marriage. But let us not forget that we are supposed to be the bearers of the Good News – and we must admit that sometimes (and maybe even a bit more than that!) we fall short of living this mandate that Jesus has given us as Christians.

I would like to conclude with a saying of St. John of the Cross, a saying which Pope Benedict several times repeated (obviously he was ignored by the media), which says “In the twilight of life, God will not judge us on our earthly possessions and human successes, but on how well we have loved.”

4 thoughts on “Gay Marriage: The only way forward

  • Reply Charlo' Camilleri O.Carm 30th November 2013 at 11:33 pm

    This is what actually John of the Cross writes: “A la tarde te examinarán en el amor. Aprende a amar como Dios quiere ser amado, y deja tu condición” … Which is quite different from what is reported in the article.

    • Reply Jake Mamo 2nd December 2013 at 1:44 pm

      Thank you Fr. Charlo’ for your correction. It was my mistake – this quote is often butchered and taken out of context. Yet I think that the argument presented in this contribution still holds as this was just intended to be a closing thought.

  • Reply Charlo' Camilleri O.Carm 3rd December 2013 at 12:15 am

    John of the Cross is referring here to divine love -agape- which transforms our imperfect love and way of loving. “At the twilight (of life) you will be judged in/with love. Learn how to love God as he wishes (to be loved), and change your condition.”

    As to your contribution, I cannot actually figure out the point: is it about “gay marriage” per se, or the problem of homophobia? Is it about both issues? Although related issues in the debate, they are clearly distinct. The former is primarily concerned about what defines marriage and the process of re-defining marriage. The latter is about the acceptance of gay people in our societies and in the ecclesial communities. Marriage is not only about love . It is also about society.

    On these grounds I still find John of the Cross’ misquoted quote, not fitting.)

    • Reply Jake Mamo 4th December 2013 at 9:11 am

      If one reads between the lines, it would be clear that my contribution is not about “Gay Marriage” di per se – In the third paragraph I clearly said so.

      What I tried to say in this contribution is that with Gay marriage being introduced in Malta (as I believe the current administration is using to term ‘Gay Union’ just to mask the term ‘Gay Marriage’) what are we going to do now that these unions are going to be introduced?

      As I said in the penultimate paragraph: “Yes – let us remind the people about the beautiful and profound meaning of the marriage”. However, these unions are going to be introduced nonetheless and whilst remaining true to what Jesus and the Church states about Marriage between a Man and Woman, we must also remain true to what Jesus has said about our neighbour. This might seem obvious but I have met several people in the last weeks whose concern was only to say that these people are sinful. This personally makes me sick. Are we, as Clerics and Church people going to distance these people furthermore from Christ? Do we feel the need to evangelise these people – or do we want to tell them they are wrong and that’s it? Could we, at least just remind them that they are first and foremost Loved by One who Created them? And this leads me to the first question: What are we going to do, what is the way forward, now that the Gay unions are going to be introduced?

      That what this contribution is all about.

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