Friday, Jun. 12th 2020

Friday of the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

 

“But I say to you…”

Jesus is talking about lust in our Gospel today. And what He has to say points right to the center of a person: to look lustfully is already committing adultery in the heart. It’s important to be clear about what is sinful here. It is the decision of that deepest part of the person – the heart. Everyone has sexual thoughts and feelings. Like those of other kinds, for example, judgmental thoughts, they are temptations. They are quite common. But as in the case of judgmental thoughts they actually function as exercises forcing us to decide: do I choose them or use them like hurdles on a race track – to be jumped over?

I often compare them to sparrows flying in one end of a barn and out the other.
This image is reminiscent of what God tells the prophet Elijah in the first reading today: “Go outside and stand on the mountain before the Lord; the Lord will be passing by.” When Elijah did that he heard the Lord in “a tiny whispering sound.”
We are to deal with our unwonted thoughts and feelings by calmly listening to the Lord who “will be passing by.” Through the power of the Holy Spirit who is given us, we can, if we are patient with ourselves, and if we ask, hear God encouraging us in the frequent struggle with our intrusive thoughts and feelings.

Sr. Wendy puts it this way:
We are called … to a union so intense that words are useless. And his call is an effective call, not an invitation only. Unless we choose to say ‘no,’ his love will transform us. But how the wonder is achieved is his affair. By definition, we cannot comprehend it. So we need great and trustful patience. Patience is far more profound and more all-embracing than it appears to be. To enter deeply into patience means accepting our lowliness and, equally, his power and will to transform us.

Reflection by Fr. Xavier Nacke, OSB

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