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Saturday, January 27, 2018

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St. Angela Merici

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

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the naked truth

"You are the man!" —2 Samuel 12:7

From a distance, David saw the beautiful Bathsheba bathing. Instead of looking away, he looked lustfully at her (2 Sm 11:2). 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 could 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:  The death of St. Angela's older sister prompted her to pray for her sister's soul and led Angela to consecrate her life to God's service.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet The Bible on Sex.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 3, 2017

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