First Reading: 1Kgs 19:9a. 11-16; Psalm: 27. R. 8c; Gospel: Mt 5:27-3
THE CHRISTIAN DISCIPLINE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
If at all it was difficult to discipline the senses during the time of Jesus, it is even now a more difficult thing to do in our world today. Our world is pornography filled. The media has become a very productive platform in promoting this. There are nude pictures strewed across the internet that you can barely escape one as you scroll the pages. Also, the conventional culture of our time advances a kind of fashion that promotes and accentuates nudity. Clothing or fashion styles have become provocative. Adverts, movies and music shows have also become means of showcasing nudity. With this obvious reality, taming the senses becomes a very difficult task.
Jesus said that whoever looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. He further said that if our eye or hand would lead us to sin, we should tear it out and cut it off. Jesus was not asking us to practically tear out our eye or amputate our hand but to discipline and tame them. The eye is like a window to our heart, the centre of our thoughts and desires. What we see, is what we think and desire. And the hand will further carry out the decisions of our thoughts. Jesus therefore wants us to pay attention to these parts of the body that feeds our heart and carries out our actions.
So, even though our world is filled with possible occasions of sin, we can still put our senses under control if we so well discipline ourselves. It is not as if our eyes would not meet those erotic images that can pollute the heart. This is impossible. But that we need to cultivate that disciplined attitude of not dwelling on, and savouring those lustful images we probably saw by accident. Because the more we dwell on them, the more we are prone to sin and then are moved to do that which we desire. When we make effort in this regard, we become even more docile to the grace of God that helps us in our weaknesses.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, purify our thoughts and make our heart yours. Amen.