I struggled to write this reflection. The central focus of Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, is the joyful anticipation of Christ’s birth, but how to write convincingly about joy when it eludes me as I wrestle as a single, gay Catholic away from home with the pain of loneliness?
In the wee hours of November 9th, Donald J. Trump became the presumed winner of the Presidential Election. This is an effort that many worked hard to prevent. Many volunteered, canvassed, and even prayed to stop him from making it to the Oval Office. These people understood that the world would be a far more difficult place to live in if Trump obtained that much power.
"Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love." 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
As we journey through Advent we actively—wait. I am of Lakota heritage, and hold in my heart, in my prayers, and in my spirit, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, also waiting, and doing so actively. For well over a year the tribe has been objecting to a proposed route for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which would carry crude oil through their reservation lands.
Ever since November 9, I have been a in a state of disbelief, not because of the electorate's decision to select the Republican Party’s candidate, as the President elect, but at the events that have occurred since. There have been a spike in hate crimes, even more divisive rhetoric being spoke and unfortunately there is a clear correlation between these events and the 2016 election season.
Perhaps like many of you, I’m reeling and trying to wrap my head and heart around the election results. But maybe like fewer of you, I know this isn’t a new day or some new reality.
During the season of Advent, when Christians around the world prepare for the coming of Christ, our families and communities come together to reflect on our spirituality and our beliefs. This year at Believe Out Loud, we’re queering the season of Advent, considering traditional Advent themes as we reflect on our work ahead toward justice for all LGBTQI people.
“They tried to bury us; they didn’t know we were seeds” —Mexican Proverb
Advent is that particular liturgical season in the Church when there is a focus on the coming of God, incarnate. For many LGBTQIA folks, the Church is not the place where they come for hope or participate in the anticipation of God becoming human.