I'll bet you never heard that one before. I'm wishing I never heard it, but I'll get to how Fr. Unni got that message out of the parable of the sower in a minute. First, some good news:
Parishioners at St. Cecilia's were told that though they billed today's Mass at St. Cecilia's as a 'welcome' Mass, everyone is welcome at all Masses - said he thought everyone has known that all along.
He also stopped referring to faithful Catholics as hate mongers. We are now known at St. Cecilia's as the people who "don't get it". And, we're in good company because the Pope and 2000 years worth of Church teachings are with us.
You have to love the irony that today's Gospel was the parable of the sower, where the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are lost to people whose souls are inadequately prepared to receive the Word.
Fr. Unni's homily explained exactly whose souls are inadequately prepared to receive the Word - it's the 'hard liners' and religious authorities who just 'don't get it'.
You see, Jesus opposed religious authority because He said stupid stuff like everyone was welcome, come to Him wracked with shame, whether you are gay or a prostitute or any other person on the margins. Religious authority and hard liners don't get it. Remember that Nicodemus came through the roof.
Fortuitously, he read the Gospel of Matthew before and after the parable of the sower and you know what he found? That Christ said if he had gone to Sodom and did what He did for outcasts, they would have gotten it.
He knew this was all going to be open for misinterpretation, but he is not giving the green light -no no - it's about loving people taking care of other people.
Jesus said 'these people' are people who lay heavy burdens and rules upon you but if you come to Him, He will give you rest. Know who you are. God sees who you are and He will give you rest. Stand in your own strength.
Do you get it, he asked?
I was only one in the pews around me shaking my head 'no' but there must have been others because he went on to clarify what he was talking about. That's when he gave the quote that ties it all together. It's all about shame and compassion. Shame bad. Compassion good.
He had a book written by "Greg Boyle" who apparently explains that shame is at the root of all addiction. God loves all woundedness into health. God finds in them total acceptability in their being. Self cannot survive without love. The absence of self-love is shame. The sinner is the outcast. Shame speaks lies. You're not at home with yourself. If we don't believe in ourselves, we will never come to the Table. If somebody tells you that you can't come to the Table, it isn't the Catholic religion.
So much for the theology of unworthy reception of the Eucharist but I digress.
If we don't believe in ourselves, we will never come to the Table. Let shame go because the nomatterwhatness of God fills us with mercy.
The strategy of Jesus was not about taking the right stand on issues, it is about standing in the right place. Compassion stands in awe of what others carry in life rather than judging them. Jesus eats with them, that's it. He eats with them. Eating with outcasts renders them acceptable.
Some people ask him why he needs a Rainbow Ministry. He tells them he listened to gay older men in their 60s, 70s and 80s - and all you say is tell me a story of who is feeling squashed - there needs to be a place. People saying this is the Unni gospel of sodomy just don't get it. With compassion, margins get erased.
The seed is God's compassion and acceptance. What kind of soil are we?
Are we stingy or open?
Everyone is holy love. There is no shame. Shame is healed. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Do we get it?
And with that, he flung open his vestments and swirled around like he was getting ready to fly, and up the stairs he went as the congregation broke open into wild applause. (In fact, there was a lot of clapping throughout the whole Mass, which I don't have the wherewithall to describe right now.)
I am not putting words in Unni's mouth - these are all his words. Somebody taped the homily. As soon as I receive it, we'll get it uploaded to the internet. I can't even get into the nightmare of the intercessions.
I couldn't count the times I was brought to my knees in reparation, my heart moved with pity for the gentle, kind and loving souls surrounding me, being so spiritually abused. God help them.
It doesn't take much to find how frightening Fr. Unni's gospel of no shame actually is, as one of our readers found a St. Cecilia bulletin dated October 24, 2010 with a printed article by Michael Gelenfield who has been accused of repeated sexual abuse. Not even repeated sexual abuse is to be ashamed of at St. Cecilia's. Shame speaks lies, let shame go because the nomatterwhatness of God fills him with mercy, total acceptability in his being.
Wasn't this the problem?
Oh wait..I think I get it now...being a friend of the Catholic hierarchy has its perks, doesn't it.
CJ Doyle's Press Release - Archdiocese Abandons St. Cecilia's