Friday 10th Week of the Year
How good it is to love others with a pure heart.
Once again our Lord is teaching us about the spirit of the Law.
Jesus wants us to understand
that sin is more than just the behaviors
or the actions we commit.
What lies underneath that act or behavior
is what he wants to heal as well as forgive the sin.
It’s a kind of a simple example
but think of a flooded street
where workers continue to pound on the drain cover
and never look underneath the cover
at where the pipe is leaking.
I heard Fr. Brian Christopher in a talk
speak of a person who comes home
tired and stressed out from work.
“All of a sudden they just lose their patience with everyone.
“I could hear them time after time
confessing impatience with family members.”
What is the underlying cause of this annoyance?
Most likely it is the stress of work and driving home.
Until they ask the Lord to heal their stress and tension,
they will continue to be impatient with people they love.
In the Gospel, Jesus holds up the dignity of women
saying that we are not to commit adultery
and not even look at a person with lust in our hearts
or we have committed adultery against them.
We must pray for those who choose to deal
with the anxieties of life through pornography.
So many spouses and children have suffered
the loss of a family member
who continues to pick this bad medicine
that never heals.
We must not beat ourselves up over and over again
like those city workers pounding on that drain cover.
We can even confess that sin over and over, however,
healing will take place, and the behavior will change
when they ask the Lord Jesus to help us
address what’s triggering that behavior.
What’s happening inside of us,
what needs are not met that are trying to be met
in unhealthy ways or inappropriate ways?
Sometimes we suffer from a profound loneliness
or a past hurt caused by someone very special to us,
and we just don’t know what to do about it except bury it.
Sometimes a person is introduced into pornography at a very tender age.
They can’t comprehend the gravity of the material
and curiosity lead ultimately to addiction,
altering even the chemistry of the brain.
Praise God that Jesus knows what to do about it.
He has taught us through the saints,
especially St. Faustina, that the greater the sin,
the greater the mercy he has for us if we only come to him.
God’s mercy is his love in action.
“Come to me all you who labor and are overburdened,”
he told us, “and I will give you rest for your souls.”
Allow Jesus to help us to acknowledge
what we are feeling and experiencing
underneath in our hearts when we are alone.
Have no fear to look that behavior in square in the eye.
Jesus is with us.
This honesty breaks down all the games we play to
excuse bad thoughts and sinful behavior.
This honesty opens the door to courage,
courage to say, I am helpless Lord.”
This courage helps us to regain our integrity
to make whatever changes and get whatever professional help we need,
to live again with a clean heart.
I have been a little long, so let us offer our intentions in silence
during a quiet offertory.