Daily Devotional for November 27

November 27                                                 Matthew 19:1-12


           "For there are eunuchs who have been so
     from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been
   made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who
      have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of
                          the reign of heaven."


Today's Gospel represents a radical departure by Jesus from
the prevailing view of his day that marriage and procreation
were the sacred duty of every devout Jew. Jesus says that there
are three groups of individuals for whom it is not expedient
to marry.


The first group, eunuchs who have been so from birth, have
been understood as people born with serious birth defects. It
makes equal or greater sense, however, to understand this group
as homosexual men and women. As with eunuchs, traditional
marriage makes little sense for gay men and lesbians; as with
eunuchs, the sexual activity of gay men and lesbians is not
directed toward procreation; as with eunuchs, religious and
cultural institutions have scorned gay men and lesbians. Final-
ly, research is suggesting increasingly that gay men and lesbians
"have been so from birth."


The second group, eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by
men, is clearly a literal reference to eunuchs.


The third group, eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs
for the sake of the reign of heaven, are persons who choose
a celibate life in order to devote themselves singlemindedly to
God.


The good news of this passage is that Jesus affirms all these states
of life as a gift. Some receive the gift of heterosexuality, while
others receive the gift of homosexuality or celibacy. Eunuchs,
too, are welcomed into God's household. (Acts 8:26-40) There
is room for everyone in the reign of God.


Therefore, whatever our state of life, let the prayer on our lips
today be: Thank you, Jesus, for including me in the family
of God.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989  23

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