Friday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
(I Thessalonians 4:1-8; Matthew 25:1-13)
As much as the Internet has improved business possibilities today, it has brought a special windfall to purveyors of sex. Arranging sexual liaisons and dealing in pornography are leading Internet activities. The young as well as the old, stay-at-homes as well as gallivants, are all within the Internet’s reach. This fact makes Paul’s advice to the Thessalonians in the first reading as poignant as ever.
Paul is warning the Thessalonians about the pitfall of sex. He contrasts holiness with lust because the first is given to imitating God’s care for all while the second is taken up with egotistical pleasure. Interestingly, he criticizes taking a spouse primarily to satisfy one’s carnal craving as lacking proper motivation. He is advising his readers to purify their love of animal desire so that they may contribute to the good of all, even in their own bedrooms.
Many in our society, and even in our Church, are wont to say that what a married couple does in its bedroom is nobody else’s business. Although it is hard to imagine laws that would restrict a couple’s actions there, we must not say that anything goes. No, the Church are right to admonish married couples, as Paul does here, that marital sex needs regulation to produce truly free and loving people just as sure as the unmarried need to refrain from sexual fulfillment.