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Saturday, January 31, 2004

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St. John Bosco

2 Samuel 12:1-7, 10-17
Psalm 51
Mark 4:35-41

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the naked truth

"One evening David rose from his siesta and strolled about on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing, who was very beautiful." —2 Samuel 11:2

From a distance, David saw the beautiful Bathsheba bathing. Instead of looking away, he looked lustfully at her. This led to adultery, murder, and the death of an innocent child. If David had not repented after being confronted by Nathan (2 Sm 12:7ff), his lustful looks would have resulted in the destruction of the nation.

When Jesus tells us to gouge out our eye rather than look lustfully, He's doing us a favor (Mt 5:28-29). He's sparing us not only the eternal pains of hell, but also terrible destruction in this life. It doesn't seem that serious at first. Is looking at a suggestive scene or a half-clothed woman that bad? God's word says: "Once passion has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin reaches maturity it begets death" (Jas 1:15). "As for lewd conduct or promiscuousness or lust of any sort, let them not even be mentioned among you; your holiness forbids this" (Eph 5:3). "Make no mistake about this: no fornicator, no unclean or lustful person — in effect an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God" (Eph 5:5).

"Let no one deceive you with worthless arguments. These are sins that bring God's wrath down on the disobedient; therefore have nothing to do with them" (Eph 5:6-7). "Whoever rejects these instructions rejects, not man, but God Who sends His Holy Spirit upon you" (1 Thes 4:8).

Prayer:  Jesus, I accept You as Lord of my eyes, feelings, hormones, and sexuality.

Promise:  "Who can this be that the wind and the sea obey Him?" —Mk 4:41

Praise:  St. John Bosco never gave up on any of the young people with whom he met, but always saw an opportunity for God's grace to be revealed.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Effects of Sin on audio AV 81-3 or video V-81.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, June 23, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2003