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, his heart leaps with hope. But if they are spoken to a lecher like King David, they are wrought with desperation. In order to hide his guilt, David has his paramour’s husband killed. Today it is easier to go after the defenseless child.
Behind the emotions lies the truth about sexual intercourse. As the Church has consistently taught, intercourse contributes significantly to human welfare when performed between loving spouses. Offspring ensure the evolving future, both of the earth and of the Church. They give parents reason for living righteously, to say nothing of the joy the subjects themselves will realize for being alive. Carried out licentiously, on the other hand, intercourse may be initially gratifying but ultimately 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 as gracious as the mustard tree giving refuge to the birds. It strengthens us like wheat growing tall in the field to resist pestilent desires.