This is Me.

BY FR. BRIAN ZUMBRUM, OSFS

The Baptism of the Lord | January 13, 2019

See today’s readings here. This homily focuses on all the readings. The archive of all of Fr. Brian’s homilies can be found hereSalesian Sermons

So I know that all of my pop culture references are about 6 months late, but I just saw The Greatest Showman over the Christmas holiday.  You know the one about P.T. Barnum and the circus.

And let me tell you that movie gives me all of the feels.

But nothing quite like the song, “This is Me.”

For those of you who have not heard this song.  You need to listen to it. Because it is beautiful. Sung by the Bearded Lady as a door was literally slammed in her face, it is a powerful statement of who we are.  Who we should be.

I hear the lyrics and I must admit, they hit home.

For I too am not a stranger to the dark.

I too have been told that they don’t want my broken parts.

I too have been told I should be ashamed of all my scars.

You’re too liberal.  You’re too feminine. You’re too weak.  You’re too young. You’re too arrogant.

Fr.  Brian, we see your tears.  We see your fears.

We know your inadequacies.  We know your failures.

Hide away.  Run away. For no one will love you as you are.

Even here, in the Church that I have been a part of all my life, these voices have been there.  Piercing right through me.

And I know I’m not alone.

For each and everyone one of us has been judged for who we are at some point on our journey.

For the doubts and questions that we dared to have.  For the insecurities that keep us up at night.

For the time when our beliefs were different or the time when we utterly messed up.

For the time that we were too thin or too fat. Too awkward. Too uncoordinated.

For the interests we had, the clothes we wore, the friends we chose, the votes we cast.

For the fact that we are not yet married. That we don’t have children. That our kids have left the faith.

For the decision we made to get the abortion, sign the divorce papers, or move in with our boyfriend.

For the fact that we are gay or undocumented or diagnosed with a learning disability.

Hide away.  Run away. For no one will love you as you are.

But then, into the void, we hear another voice.

You are my beloved, in whom I am well pleased.

See my son.  My beloved.

See how he too was judged.

He was a rebel.  A trouble-maker.

He was scandalous.  Hanging with all the wrong people.

He was a heretic.  He didn’t follow the rules.  

And I loved him.

And that same God who loved Christ says the same to us.  I love you. You are my beloved child. You are mine.

Like the Bearded Lady, he reminds us.

When the sharpest words try to cut us down, I too will send a flood and drown them out.

A flood that first crashed over us at our baptism, showering us in the one truth.

That we are loved.

That we are glorious.

That there is a place for us.  Here in this Church. Among God’s people.

That there is nothing we are not worthy of.

My friends, today on the Baptism of the Lord, may we plunge ever deeper into the truth of who we are and whose we are.

Singing proudly.  I’m who I’m meant to be. This is me. This is me.

May God be Praised.

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