I know that homosexuality is wrong, and I fully support that teaching. I’m really having a hard time knowing what kind of relationship I should have with him. I feel like any relationship with him is wrong, and by accepting him I would be condoning his actions which I feel I can’t do. What is said in Romans 1:21-32, makes me feel I can have no relation with him. I need help to understand specifically Romanss 1:32.
Romans 1 is aimed at pagans. Your brother is a believer who has become confused by his involuntary attractions and a culture that supports them. He is a fellow Christian who has been given a very heavy cross to bear. The general culture sympathizes with him in the wrong way—to say nothing of the so-called “gay” culture. Despite all the support and hoopla about having the right to live in a way that actually contradicts natural law (the law by which we instinctively know that things like murder and incest are wrong), there lurks under the surface of most people with same-sex attraction a self loathing. Theirs is a loneliness that suffers from both sides. If they partake, the Church notes the sin. If they refrain, the culture is threatened and persecutes them. Remember, it is just as difficult for them to be attracted to the opposite sex as it is for you to be attracted to the same sex. Many of them feel quite trapped.
The only way to overcome the horns of such a dilemma, is by turning to the cross and the Lord’s passion. It is there that we all learn who He is and who we are. What we learn there can give us the strength to live for Him alone. It IS possible. He has that kind of power. Of course, this would not occur to most people in whatever difficulty they may face. I don’t doubt that your brother has strong misgivings about his own worth—regardless of how defensive he may act. Our Lord was criticized for associating with sinners and prostitutes. We could easily add homosexuals. But He has loved them enough to suffer and die for them. As his brother, you could be the one person who could bring Christ’s love to him—by simply being yourself and telling the truth about what you believe. Let him know your love by your kindness in the face of such disorder.
Below is a link that might help–plus a reflection.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.
Reflection on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ +
The agony in the garden was really the agony in His mind. He suffered the passion in His mind before He suffered it in His body—to the point of actually affecting the latter by sweating blood. But from then on, it was His bodily suffering that affected His mental suffering.
At the base of all His suffering was the one thing that human beings dread the most: rejection. He was betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter and abandoned by all the rest of His Apostles; those He had hand picked as His closest intimates. He was most rejected by those who put Him to death. They not only wanted Him dead, they wanted Him to suffer. They not only considered Him to be worth nothing, they considered Him to be worth minus nothing! This significance was not lost on Him. He felt fully the rejection as each physical agony reminded Him.
So we thank Him for joining us on our human journey and actually choosing to experience what we fear the most.
We thank Him for enduring the arrest and the cruelty of the guards and the Sanhedrin. We thank Him for enduring the cruelty of Pilate who allowed Him to be executed rather than risk his own political ruin—and for the cruelty of Herod who wanted to be entertained by having Him work a miracle. We thank Him for all the time He spent satisfying their preoccupation with themselves, just delaying His ultimate death. We thank Him for the anxiety of that night in a cell.
The next morning He was brutally scourged with such intensity and violence that He became as an aged man in a matter of minutes. His multiple wounds bloodied His entire body. The loss of so much blood not only severely weakened Him; it also caused a severe, throbbing headache that remained with Him for the duration.
We thank Him for this and for the mockery He received when they put a purple cloth on His shoulders and pushed a crown of thorns down into His head which intensified His headache. They blindfolded Him and slapped Him, insisting that He ‘prophesy’ who had hit Him. They spat on Him and beat Him.
He stood at the praetorium in utter disgrace according to the attitude of the crowd—while in reality, He stood in utter glory: almighty God, being present to every person who has ever suffered rejection, joining them in their moment of pain. It was there that He was sentenced to death by crucifixion. Physically, He was utterly miserable. He revealed to St. Bernard that carrying the cross was His most painful agony. He was so weak, He could hardly walk. Nauseous and thirsty, He found the weight of the cross on His shoulder almost unbearable. It most likely dislocated His shoulder. It is not surprising that He fell down on the stone streets that were filthy with animal dung—with the cross on top of Him. And He got up each time.
It was only with the help of Simon of Cyrene that He made it to the top of Calvary. There they drove the nails into the carpal tunnels of His hands, causing pain throughout His upper body. The nail in His feet registered great pain through all the sensitive nerves there. When the cross was righted, His up-stretched arms squeezed His lungs and He began to pant for lack of oxygen. So He had to push down on His crucified feet to push His body up in order to fill His lungs with air. This took great effort because He was so weak. Yet He managed to maintain such effort for three hours of agony which increased gradually as He became weaker moment by moment.
By the end of the third hour, His agony was at its peak. He had come to the point where His strength simply gave out and He suffocated. In this eternal moment as He died, He gave us His life. Transcending time, this moment of divine love is present to us in the tabernacles of the world.
Thank you, Lord. We adore you O Christ and we praise you. By your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.