Wednesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
(I Peter 1:18-25; Mark 10:32-45)
It is unsurprising that the current question of religious freedom has a sexual issue at its root. In no way does Church’s teaching diverge more from contemporary social mores than on sexual norms. In this case the Church maintains that since artificial contraception violates God’s natural law, it cannot support the mandate to fund it in its health insurance plans. The first reading today indicates that sex has from the beginning been a pitfall of which Christians must be wary.
Like the sixth beatitude the passage admonishes its readers to love “from a pure heart.” That is, they are to overcome the desire to exploit the beautiful out of animal pleasure. Rather, they are to care magnanimously for all according to the Savior’s example. The verse about all flesh being ephemeral like grass, from the prophet Isaiah, adds ancient testimony to Jesus’ lesson.
We do not hold that sex is “dirty” or bad in itself. But we do believe that it must be reserved for marriage where it binds two people together who would otherwise be both lonely and less wise. Outside of marriage it gives rise to egotism and manipulation.