Out in Scripture: Gospel Reflections, 28th Sunday.

Out in Scripture” is a project of the Religion and Faith  Programme of the Human Rights Campaign, which I found when reading about it on Fr Geoff Farrow’s blog.  It is the culmination of extensive discussion between 100 different scholars and pastors from 11 different denominations, based on the Revised Common Lectionary.(A particularly innovative feature that I have not seen elsewhere, is a parallel, but reduced,  set of reflections specifically from the Trans perspective.)

For 11th October, the 11th Sunday in ordinary time. the Gospel reflection is on the theme of the privileged and the marginalised:

Mark 10:17-31 presents those who are privileged, LGBT and non-LGBT, with a difficult lesson. Oftentimes we hear this hard teaching and turn away sad. The rich man stands in a place of privilege in his society, yet earnestly desires to live fully. Jesus, in his compassion, shows the man that in order to experience his fullness of life he must sacrifice his privilege for the good of the marginalized. Only then will his path be clear to follow Jesus faithfully. Here we see that our own comfort and luxuries may indeed be obstacles to living into the Reign of God.

What holds us back in our commitment to the Reign of God? What keeps us from greater work for justice for LGBT people?

Jesus continues in this passage to recognize those who have paid a dear price for the sake of the gospel (Mark 10:28-31). When Peter declares that those who follow Jesus left everything in order to do so, Jesus responds with reassurance. He promises their lives will be the fullest of lives (even listing a hundredfold return of wealth, family and land) now and in eternal life. Does this reassurance ring true for those who continue to suffer great losses in our world? What is the quality of life, the fullness of life, of one devoted to Christ? This tough question returns us to the cry of the psalmist in Psalm 22 and that of Job.

What sacrifices have we made to follow God faithfully? How have we received “a hundred times as much”? For what are you grateful?

For additional reflections on supplementary readings, see Out in Scripture

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