“And it came to pass, in those days, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And forthwith coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit as a dove descending, and remaining on him. And there came a voice from heaven: Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” (Mark 1: 9-11)
This is a sometimes overlooked passage in the Bible; for, it’s a rather quite and peaceful moment lacking the bigger impact on the imagination of the Nativity or the Passion. Yet, it’s a huge moment in the Life of Christ: it marks the beginning of it all – His entrance into public ministry which will eventually fully reveal the reality of the Incarnation and the salvific sacrifice at Calvary. Without it, nothing else would be possible. But, for many years, I wondered what was exactly going on here? Why did the Father have to Bless and approve of His Son? Why did this happen? And, why is it important?
Strangely enough, I discovered the answers while talking with people whom some Christians would regard as the most un-Christ-like individuals on Earth: sexually active gay men. Because, while they revealed their tormented lives to me – a common denominator often emerged: the lack of love and acceptance from their dads. Unlike Christ, they never got that final blessing. Instead, they took away memories of neglect, abandonment, and rejection. This is how they grew up and how they began their lives: not with an embrace, but with a blow to the brain. At that point: What is possible? Will those young men enter into a life of peace and happiness; secure in the knowledge that they have the love of the father or will they be overcome by doubts and a nagging sensation of inadequacy and isolation?
For the most part, because of this lack of affirmation in love and in their masculinity, boys who never have a blessing from their dad end up as restless crusaders always on the hunt for the missing elixir of manliness. Throughout their lives, it always seems to evade them as they go looking for it in other men, in surrogate fathers, in the seemingly secure and protective environs of the gay lifestyle; all through the haze of homosexual sex. Ultimately, nothings is solved and nothing is healed; and the encouragement that they seek is never realized. Without that initial support from the father, they are completely unable to launch into adult manhood; this is exactly why homosexuality, using Freudian theory, is an arrested stage in sexual development – they are stuck in an eternal form of boyhood; never able to fully make the leap towards independence, but always relaying upon the safety only found within the arms of another man.
The lone release from this eternal prison is the Love that only the Lord can provide. In that, Jesus gave us His own Earthly father. St. Josemaria Esacriva wrote: “St. Joseph, a father to Christ, is also your father and your lord. Have recourse to him.”