Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
(I Kings 19:9a.11-16; Matthew 5:27-32)
Jesus in today’s gospel delivers two thunderbolts. First, he says that lustful looks comprise a grievous sin. Then he forbids divorce in all cases except where the marriage was null from the beginning. So why does the first reading seem to say that God was not found in natural catastrophes like a tornado, an earthquake, or a forest fire?
With this story of the natural revelation to Elijah Scripture makes an important point for today. The story itself means that God’s revelation is not to be necessarily associated with any kind of natural occurrence. God may use nature to reveal his sovereign will, but no phenomenon is definitely a divine oracle. Wise people will want to discern what God is saying with the current pandemic. But it is foolish to say offhand that the pandemic is a negative judgment on the world.
Many have commented recently that racism is a pandemic of equal order to the Corona-19 virus. It is certainly rooted in society and is taking too long to eradicate. I would hold that pornography is another pandemic with disastrous effects. It obsesses both young and old alike. It creates desires that are not capable of being fulfilled in healthy marital relationships. And it exploits innocent people who are often minors or de facto slaves.