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Choose your GiftWe've got the goods to help you declare your Christian support for equality.
These remarks were originally prepared and presented as a keynote address for the World AIDS Day service on December 1, 2012 at St.
Finally, may Christ inflame the desires of all men to break through the barriers which divide them, to strengthen the bonds of mutual love, to learn to understand one another, and to pardon those who have done them wrong. Standing at the threshold of a new era of faith it was these prophetic words that called upon the Church to speak to the world with a renewed sense of purpose aimed toward achieving the peace that Christ promised.
Earlier this year, I reflected on the stories of the Canaanite woman and the tax collector Zacchaeus to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of what it means to be viewed as an "outcast" or different.
Just as the disciples urged Jesus to send the Canaanite woman away and the residents of Jericho accused Jesus of staying at the house "of a sinner," so too today do those of us who are marginalized feel the look of judgment. These concepts of peace, love, and liberation are not foreign to the Catholic experience, but rather define the very essence of our faith. But the LORD said to Samuel: Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. This is precisely the message that was proclaimed by the Second Vatican Council in their pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes. Hence this spiritual identity should aid all of us in accepting our moral obligation to demand equitable access to antiretroviral medications here in the United States and throughout the developing world.
This is particularly relevant to our global community as we recognize today, December 1, as World AIDS Day. If we truly profess to be a people of the Gospel, then the only answer to this question is YES. As we respond "yes" we become living witnesses to the Gospel's message of inclusion and to the love that defined Christ's ministry. As we go forth from this sacred place tonight, let us remember that the sacred is not limited to the walls we currently find ourselves within, but rather the sacred is as vast as our love for one another.
As Catholics, we need only follow our faith and the conscience that guides it, to realize that World AIDS Day is an opportunity, and a call, for us to exercise faith in action.

By this action, may Christ help us to overcome those barriers that divide us, so that we may discover the ultimate source of our unity: peace and love through Christ.
Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Tom for your thoughtful introduction, and a special thank you to the The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Straight Ministry of St.
Tonight, offers a moment for us to pause and reflect on the essence of Catholic social teaching and how it guides our hearts to be sources of compassion for each other. Through His power and inspiration may all peoples welcome each other to their hearts as brothers, and may the peace they long for ever flower and ever reign among them. This evening, we stand at a similar juncture in the history of the Church; we stand at a place that calls upon us to reflect on the meaning of faith and what we are called to do as a people of the Gospel.
What I realized in these moments of reflection was that I am the Samaritan woman and I am the tax collector. Yet, amid this reality Catholic social teaching guided by the prophetic words of forward-thinking Church documents remind us of the Christian call to justice in furtherance of the liberation of humanity. The issue of access to treatment and medically-supported prevention are issues of justice in our world today.
Just as Christ went to the home of Zaccaheus, witnessed the great faith of the Canaanite woman, and sat beside the Samaritan woman at the well, so too are we called not only to see ourselves in these biblical figures, but we are also called to be hope for one another just as Christ was hope for them. Today, discrimination based on real or perceived HIV status continues to serve as a barrier for millions of people around the world. We must profess a unity that is rooted in the meaning of being created in the image of God, because no child of our Creator should be subjected to stigma or discrimination. As communities of faith we have a moral obligation to lead by serving as examples of compassion and bearers of great love as we respond to an epidemic that has claimed the lives of far too many friends and loved ones.
Therefore, we must carry the sacred with us wherever we go so as to constantly bear witness to the Gospel's message of inclusion and to our faith's great love and compassion.
As you look into the eyes of Christ tonight, do so realizing that Christ not only looked, but touched, not only prayed, but knelt, and not only stood alongside, but embraced and loved those he encountered.

Augustine Church, the Rainbow Ministry of Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Friends of Social Justice at St. One such document is Justitia in Mundo, Justice in the World, which states: "By his action and teaching Christ united in an indivisible way the relationship of people to God and the relationship of people to each other. As Catholics we cannot turn a blind eye to the realities of our world, and more importantly, to the fact that these issues are impacting the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is made particularly clear in the document's emphasis that every individual has been created in the imago dei - the image and likeness of God. The existence of such discrimination is antithetical to Christ's message of compassion and should guide our hearts to stand with those who suffer injustice due to fear.
Such discrimination is contrary to the meaning of being human and to the dignity that is inherent in the essence of every person. Through this simple action, we will not only be prophets to each other, but we will also be working with the hands and heart of Christ. This is our call: embrace and love -- by doing so you may be the only Christ someone meets. Christ lived his life in the world as a total giving of himself to God for the salvation and liberation of people." Through our experience of being the outcast, the different, and the marginalized, we come not only to witness the Gospel's message of inclusion, but also to see the face of Christ in a way that truly allows us to understand his very essence. It is this common likeness, not a likeness defined by physical trait, but rather by the spiritual essence of who we are as children of God that unites us even amid worldly differences.
As we look into the eyes of those we love and long for the eyes of those we love who have found eternal rest, let us take great comfort in the compassionate arms of Christ; however, let us also offer our open hearts and arms to each other as a living expression of Christ's own love.
It is through moments such as this, that Church leaders encounter our lived experience and through these experiences discover an embodied theology that embraces the human experience.

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