When questioned how I reconcile my Catholic faith with being openly gay and partnered, part of my response is that it is all about integrity, being true to one’s own fundamental self. It is therefore helpful to me to see in today’s Mass readings, a message of integrity and wholeness.
In today’s first reading, (Jeremiah 23:1-6), he blasts those who have caused division among the Lord’s flock, causing them to be scattered. Insisting that it is the Lord himself who speaks, he calls down doom on those responsible:
‘Doom for the shepherds who allow the flock of my pasture to be destroyed and scattered – it is the Lord who speaks! This, therefore, is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says about the shepherds in charge of my people: You have let my flock be scattered and go wandering and have not taken care of them.,
LGBT Christians will be only too aware of how so many false prophets have promoted a distorted interpretation of scripture, clearly in stark contrast with the Gospel message of inclusion and outreach to the marginalised. This they have used either to drive away LGBT people from the church, or to try and force them to live lives in conflict with their natural, God-given nature: to live lives lacking in integrity. To those thus scattered, Jeremiah offers reassurance. Again speaking in the Lord’s name, he reassures them (and so us) that “I”, the “Lord our integrity” will gather them from their place of exile and restore them to the flock.
And this is the name he will be called: