Friday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
(II Samuel 11:1-4a.5-10a.13-17; Mark 4:26-34)
The words, “I am pregnant,” can bring joy or misery depending on their context. When a young husband hears them, most likely his heart jumps with enthusiastic hope. But if they are spoken to a lecher like King David, they are wrought with misery and desperation. In order to hide his guilt, David has his paramour’s husband killed. Today, of course, it is easier to go after the defenseless child.
Behind the emotions lies the truth about sexual intercourse. As the Church never tires of teaching, intercourse contributes significantly to human welfare when performed between loving, married partners. Offspring ensure the evolving future of the earth and provide for fulfilling the mission of the Church. Offspring give parents reason for living righteously, to say nothing of the joy the subjects themselves realize for having been born. But carried out licentiously, intercourse disturbs the natural order scarring the perpetrators and jeopardizing the welfare of the progeny.
Surmounting the challenge posed by illicit sexual desires requires great fortitude. As we know from the tragedies of kings as majestic as David and of philosophers as wise as Aristotle, it is not readily achieved. But our remedy comes from the gospel. Planted deep within our souls, the word of God spreads to all parts of our being. It makes us a gracious as the mustard tree giving refuge to the birds. It strengthens us like wheat growing tall in the field to resist pestilent desires.