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Prayer in Honor of Those Whom Jesus Loved

Jesus who loved the Samaritan woman,
outcast proclaimer of your name,
let us love and support all those
who proclaim your name
to the gay and lesbian community.

Jesus who loved the lepers whom others called unclean,
let us see the glory of creation
everywhere, in everyone.

Jesus who loved the one condemned with him
and promised him heaven by virtue of his faith,
give us the faith to broaden our vision
of the reign of God.

Jesus who loved the hemorrhaging woman,
long ignored and thought to be intrinsically disordered,
give us hearts large enough to embrace
those whom the world calls bent.

Jesus who loved the tax collector the community feared,
enable us to put down our fear of those
who are different from ourselves.

Jesus who loved the Roman soldier,
foreigner and oppressor,
help us to love those who make exiles
of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.

Jesus who loves us in all our humanness, all our glories,
enable us to love those
whose glories we have failed to see.

You who called women disciples in a male world,
who confronted leaders of the synagogue
with their sins of injustice,
who sent out your disciples to the whole world,
give us the courage to stand with
our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters,
their families and those who minister to them.
Give us the grace
to confront their rejection,
to ease their loneliness,
to calm their fears and
to belie their sense of abandonment.

Give us all the grace to own our sexual identity,
whatever its orientation,
as another manifestation of your goodness.
Give us the vision to recognize and reject
the homophobia around us and in our own hearts, as well.

May we and the church of Jesus
open our hearts and homes and sanctuaries
to the gay and lesbian community,
to the glory of God they bring in new voice,
with different face.

Let us bless the God of differences.

— Joan Chittister