Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
(II Corinthians 4:7-15; Matthew 5:27-32)
Summertime brings people to the beach. Men typically go to look at women and women go to be looked at – both groups with lust in their hearts. Jesus addresses the situation in today’s gospel.
After he posts the great rewards for his followers in the beatitudes and gives a few images of encouragement, Jesus presents himself as Lord refining the law given to the Israelites at Sinai. He tells the New Israel that they sin not just by committing adultery but by desiring it in their hearts. Only by transcending such desires, which amount to idolatry, will they be able to see the true God.
Girl-watching (and boy-watching as well) seems like a pastime innocuous enough that we may not want to comment upon it. Yet it counters Jesus’ teaching and instrumentalizes human beings. We need to model modesty as well as give each person his or her due respect. We should also exhort youth when there is a chance of being heard to practice self-control over what they look at and what they think.