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 warns the Thessalonians about the pitfall of sex. It is his chief concern. He contrasts holiness with lust because the first is given to imitating God’s love for all while the second is taken up with selfish desire. He criticizes exploiting a spouse for pleasure as lacking proper motivation. He is advising his readers to purify their private lives so that they may contribute to the good of all even in their own bedrooms.
Many in the Church as well as society believe that what a married couple does in their bedroom is nobody else’s business. Although it is hard to imagine laws that restricting a couple’s actions there, we should not say that anything goes. The Church is right to admonish married couples, as Paul does here, that married life has its distinctive chastity. If the partners are to become truly free and loving people, they should practice the necessary discipline just as sure as the unmarried need to refrain from sexual intimacy.