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Saturday, August 5, 2000

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Dedication of St. Mary Major

Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24
Psalm 69:15-16, 30-31, 33-34
Matthew 14:1-12

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the standard for sexual purity

"Recall that Herod had had John arrested, put in chains, and imprisoned on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. That was because John had told him, 'It is not right for you to live with her.' " —Matthew 14:3-4

Jesus commands us to be pure as He is pure (1 Jn 3:3). This means that our standards for purity are not those of the world; they are Jesus' standards. Jesus, of course, condemns adultery (Mt 14:4), fornication (Rv 21:8), sterilization (see Gn 1:28), artificial contraception, homosexual acts (Rm 1:27), masturbation (see Gn 38:9), pornography, and all other sexual sins. However, Jesus' standards for sexual purity are focused primarily not on overcoming these temptations but on resisting sexual fantasies.

Jesus says clearly and bluntly: "You have heard the commandment, 'You shall not commit adultery.' What I say to you is: anyone who looks lustfully at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his thoughts. If your right eye is your trouble, gouge it out and throw it away!" (Mt 5:27-29) Because of TV, we, more than any people in history, are repeatedly tempted to sin through sexual fantasies. In the summertime, we have even more temptations. We must do whatever it takes to resist sexual fantasies, even if we have to gouge out our TVs. Be pure as Jesus is pure (1 Jn 3:3).

Prayer:  Father, by Your grace I will meet Your standards. Immaculate Mary, pray for me.

Promise:  "The Lord hears the poor, and His own who are in bonds He spurns not." —Ps 69:34

Praise:  Mary gave up her body to become the mother of Jesus and a perpetual virgin. Her Son, Jesus, likewise gave up His body out of love, telling His disciples thirty-three years later: "This is My body to be given for you" (Lk 22:19).

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, TV Addiction.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, March 8, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 9, 2000