Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
(Romans 2:1-11; Luke 11:42-46)
No doubt the media highlights clerical sexual abuse because priests regularly preach the virtue of chastity. Statistics show that they as a group are not more inclined to abuse than other males, but most men do not tell others to abstain from sexual activity outside marriage. In today’s first reading Paul points out a similar two-facedness.
Paul has just finished excoriating non-Jews for their sexual licentiousness. His condemnation included an often cited denunciation of homosexual activity. Now he turns his critical eyes on Jews who think that they are better than pagans although in fact they are guilty of the same sins. Shortly he will offer the solution to the iron band of evil that entraps all peoples – faith in Christ.
We live in a society of many fewer sexual inhibitions that found in previous generations. Masturbation and fornication are considered normal, not corrupt, activities. Hankering after the pleasure from these undertakings, youth will not be able to form permanent, caring relationships. Jesus, who modeled implicitly the chastity he preached, still serves as our best guide to sexual integrity.