I just wander how many of those who were in favor of pornography would say with full conviction that celibacy of priests in the Catholic Church contributes to pedophilia. But my question is, if the celibacy is such a danger to a wellbeing of a person how come that criminals in prison are not allowed to have an active sexual life. If we care about their improvement and their better adaptation to the society why do we make them celibates when they serve their time behind the bars?
My Brothers and Sisters!
I call it the syndrome of a sunburnt child. The child who comes home after running shirtless and without any sun protection for the whole day in January Sun and looking at his red skin asks: “How did happen to me?” The truth is, blame yourself for your laziness that stopped you from “wasting” 15 minutes to apply sunblock, for your stubbornness in not listening to advice of mum and dad, for being worked up by having fun that you didn’t pay attention to what was happening around you.
Jesus’ words he have just heard go deeper than the virtue of the Pharisees and Scribes who focused on the exterior. Our Blessed Lord looks at the heart of a human being as in the heart he sees the beginning of all evil that can develop into visible sins of murder, adultery, false witness, using God for my own purposes or using God to manipulate others, like the Pharisees and the Scribes did. What Jesus says in the Gospel for this Sunday is not a made up reflection but it is a reaction to what he can see in us. I would like to invite you to imagine Jesus as a doctor looking at his patient CAT scan which gives a quite clear picture of the inside of the body. The main difference when it comes to Jesus is that he doesn’t need a machine to see what is in us and he can see what no CAT scan can spot. Jesus can see what is happening is our soul. I am always amazed when I meditate on that, that Jesus can read our soul like an open book, nothing is hidden to him, and still he wants to work on us. In spite of our sins he offers us his grace, his Holy Spirit, his mercy and compassion as medicine for us.
He also offers us his wisdom which St Paul spoke of in the Letter to the Corinthians, “the hidden wisdom of God that was predestined for our glory before the ages began. It is the wisdom that none of the masters of this age have ever known. These are the very things that God has revealed to us through the Spirit, for the Spirit reaches the depths of everything, even the depths of God.”
The wisdom that makes us aware that our what is inside us is more than some organs and bones but that there is soul too that is an alive and integral part of who we are and that there are connections and consequences between what happens in our soul and our behavior. It is wisdom which we followers of Christ, call wisdom enlightened by faith.
Some months ago I did a course in the Holy Land. The class was made of students from US and Canada, I was the only one from Australia. Anyway, at the orientation session our lecturer explained to us some differences between America and Israel. He said: “In America you live on lawsuits. In Israel we live using our senses. And he went on: I America if there is a hole in the road there is also a sign saying: There is a hole ahead of you. Please don’t fall into it. In Israel if there is a hole it is presumed that you know that you shouldn’t fall into it.”
May the wisdom of God given to us, keep us alert and sensible in our judgment and in applying into our Christian life principles that remind us that we are closer to God than to animals.