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Banned: A Prayer For St. Patrick's Day

By now many of you will have heard that the organizers of the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Boston and New York have banned LGBTQ folks from marching "openly" in the event.

I'm not sure if this would please Patrick one bit.

When he brought the Irish nation to Christ, I do not remember any reference to the LGBTQ community as being "excluded" specifically from the Grace that Christ offers in God's salvation plan. To the contrary, we know quite clearly that in St. Paul's theological approach, in our Baptism we become one with each other and with Christ.

"There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28)

Obviously we're not just talking about Jews and Greeks alone, but all races and all ethnicities. Likewise, we're not just talking about slave and free—we're talking about all folks no matter where they find themselves on the ladder of social class. It follows too that we are not talking here just about male and female, but folks of every orientation under heaven.

When Paul says we are one in Christ, he did not exclude any one particular group. We know that from creation, we are made exactly the way we are in the image of God and that we are "born that way." If you want to argue with me about Romans 1 or Leviticus, I'll take that one on too. But not now. 

Because now it seems fitting to offer a prayer to the Compassionate heart of Christ.

Perhaps there will be those Christian leaders at all levels whose hearts will be likewise moved to join me in this prayer and perhaps even in some action on behalf of those all too used to being marginalized by the Church and her representatives. Perhaps the church's Bishops or Cardinals—maybe even Francis himself—may hear our prayer and join us in asking for the Love of Christ to reach out to all.

O God, hear our Prayer. 

God of Compassion and Love, you have made us the way we are, and sent Jesus to us to embrace us in ever widening circles of inclusion, hear our prayer on behalf of all who have been excluded from your invitation to march with those who love the Saints, and especially Patrick whose example brought the Emerald Isle to the knowledge and love of God. Turn the hearts of those who would turn us aside from the love of God and bring us at last to the one triumphant march of Glory you intend for all people, through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.

May God prosper our prayers, and may God inspire our actions.

Originally published on Heaven and Earth; Image via flickr user multisanti

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