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Friday, June 13, 1997

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St. Anthony of Padua

2 Corinthians 4:7-15
Psalm 116
Matthew 5:27-32

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summer and sex

"If your right eye is your trouble, gouge it out and throw it away! Better to lose part of your body than to have it all cast into Gehenna." —Matthew 5:29

Here we are at the beginning of summer. Men and women are walking around half-clothed, hoping to get a tan, adoring the sun-god rather than the Son of God. It's almost impossible to find a movie or even a TV program without nudity displayed. On top of this, newspapers and magazines constantly try to exploit us by arousing our sexual desires. In the midst of this modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah, Jesus proclaims and commands: "What I say to you is: anyone who looks lustfully at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his thoughts" (Mt 5:28).

Thanks be to Jesus for telling us the truth that refreshes and frees. It's so good to know that we aren't just animals, there is true love, sexuality can be redeemed, and we don't have to feel "dirty," degraded, and defeated.

Jesus knows we are weak, especially in the area of sexual temptation. But He is strong. We are earthen vessels, but He is the Treasure within the temples of our bodies (2 Cor 4:7). We have sinned, but He has taken all our sins to the cross and washed us clean in His blood (Rv 7:14).

Thank You, Jesus, for breaking the chains of sexual bondage, raising our bodies from the death of sexual sin, and making us pure as You are pure (1 Jn 3:3).

Prayer:  Jesus, may I die rather than sin.

Promise:  "Indeed, everything is ordered to your benefit, so that the grace bestowed in abundance may bring greater glory to God because they who give thanks are many." —2 Cor 4:15

Praise:  Anthony preached the word of God so zealously that entire cities converted to the Lord.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, November 12, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 1996