10th Week of Ordinary Time, Friday, Year II

In today’s Gospel Our Lord teaches us that chastity starts in the heart. The eyes are the windows to our soul, and if we start ogling and fantasizing a radical response is needed if we are to preserve our chastity and keep our hearts pure, since no one can intervene regarding the hidden desires of the heart except ourselves.

A highly sexualized culture should not provoke our surrender, but our vigilance. The key to living chastity of heart is to form the habit of de-sexualizing what we perceive, and knowing our weakness when this is impossible. The object of desire in front of us is someone’s sibling, spouse, or parent; by de-objectifying them they are perceived as persons again who deserve the same esteem and respect we’d expect for ourselves.

Let’s ask Our Lord today for a greater purity of heart.

Readings: 1 Kings 19:9a, 11–16; Psalm 27:7–9c, 13–14; Matthew 5:27–32.