In New York City, early today, “gay rights” activists intentionally dirtied their hands before attempting to enter St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Holy Mass. This was an attempt to mock Cardinal Dolan for a blog post he wrote on April 25 explaining the Church’s teaching that homosexual acts are sinful. In that post, he had shared a story from his childhood about washing our hands before eating a meal.
I was so proud and happy. Freddie was welcome in our house, at our table. We both rushed in and sat down.
“Freddie, glad you’re here,” dad remarked, “but . . . looks like you and Tim better go wash your hands before you eat.”
Simple enough . . . common sense . . . you are a most welcome and respected member now of our table, our household, dad was saying, but, there are a few very natural expectations this family has. Like, wash your hands!…
So it is with the supernatural family we call the Church: all are welcome!
But, welcome to what? To a community that will love and respect you, but which has rather clear expectations defining it, revealed by God in the Bible, through His Son, Jesus, instilled in the human heart, and taught by His Church.
The activists are reporting that the NYPD barred them from entering the cathedral unless they washed their hands. They refused.
How do you talk sense into people like this? Imagine, running to get your hands dirty ON PURPOSE before meeting Jesus (in the Eucharist.) Of course, no one who loves Jesus would do that. Consider the story of Martha’s sister Mary and the perfume.
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at table with him. Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist at Mass. You do not intentionally get yourself dirty before meeting Him…if you truly love Him. If you truly love Him, you will present yourself as clean in body and spirit as you possibly can.
In the end, this is why the Church is under attack on this issue of “gay rights.” They hate what they do not understand, and so they attack. They consider themselves to be holy saints even as they are intentionally dirtying themselves. St. Paul had something to say about those who believe we can make “grace abound” by intentionally committing sin (dirtying ourselves).
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For he who has died is freed from sin.
We are all given the grace to be able to turn from sin, and we are all expected to try to do just that. That trying is a suffering. That suffering is our “dying” that the faithful do every day for Christ. We stumble and fall, every day, but we do not glory in sin. We do not TRY to dirty ourselves and then present ourselves before Christ and demand He save us. We try NOT to sin, and we know that if we intentionally sin, we are rejecting His grace.
The idea of intentionally dirtying your hands before Mass is simply appalling to me…because I love Jesus and can’t bear to see Him treated that way. That is a failing of mine. It is the problem St. Peter had with not wanting to see Jesus treated badly. I have to work through that. We all have to work through our failings, not glory in them.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.