"Fear not."Thanks, Bill.
The angel said it. Jesus said it, again and again.
The bishops may not yet be able to say it, but one day they will. Bishops get so caught up in defending the institution and forget that they are apostles and missionaries. If the Church does not always risk our life and indeed lose our life, we will never find it. And the mission of the Church will fail if we do not witness, bless, and celebrate love when we see it.
My hope is that the incarnate witness of our brothers and sisters will break through the death-dealing power of abstraction, which is the power to avert our gaze, to ignore the light of Christ shining from the faces of our brothers and sisters.
Some of what our bishops had to say is heartbreaking, but their unequivocal commitment to civil rights, at least outside the Church, is encouraging. In the end, however, bishops are important, but they are not the most important thing, nor are they the most important order of ministry. What they will not bless and what they will not do, the Church will still do, with or without them. And moreover, the Lord will do it, whether the Church does or not. The Lord is the Spirit, and the Spirit blows wherever she wants to.
Because the Lord has conquered death and is not afraid.