Father Raniero Cantalamessa on Purity
Comments on This Sunday's Readings
ROME, JAN. 14, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of a commentary by Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher to the Pontifical Household, on this Sunday's liturgical readings.
* * *
Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle B
(1 Samuel 3:3b-10,19; 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a,17-20; John 1:35-42)
Glorify God in Your Body
The Gospel passage allows us to be present at the formation of the first nucleus of disciples, from which will first develop the College of Apostles and then the whole Christian community. John is still on the banks of the Jordan River with two of his disciples when he sees Jesus go by and does not hesitate to cry out again: "Behold the Lamb of God!" The two disciples understand, and, leaving the Baptist for good, they start to follow Jesus.
Seeing that they are following him, Jesus turns to them and asks: "What do you seek?" To break the ice, they respond: "Teacher, where are you staying?" "Come and see," he replies. They went, they saw him and that day they stayed with him. That moment became decisive for them in their lives, remembering even the hour it occurred: it was close to four o'clock in the afternoon.
In the second reading, St. Paul illustrates a feature that must characterize the life of Christ's disciple: purity. "The body," he says among other things, "is not meant for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. ... So glorify God in your body." Given that it is a topic much discussed and vital for our present-day society, it is worthwhile to give it our attention.
Perhaps those who are able to understand best the subject of purity are precisely those who are truly in love. Sex becomes "impure" when it reduces the other (or one's own body) to an object, a thing, but this is something that true love refuses to do. Many of the excesses taking place in this area are somewhat artificial; they are due to an external imposition dictated by commercial or consumerist motives. It is not, as one is lead to believe, the "spontaneous evolution of customs." It is a guided, imposed evolution.
One of the excuses that contributes most to fostering the sin of impurity in the common mentality and to divest it of all responsibility is the idea that in any case, it harms no one, it does not harm the rights or liberty of others except, it is said, in the case of rape or violation.
But it is not true that the sin of impurity ends with the one who commits it. All abuse, no matter where and who commits it, contaminates man's moral environment, causes an erosion of values and creates what Paul defines "the law of sin," illustrating as he does its terrible power to drag people to ruin (cf. Romans 7:14ff).
The first victims of all this are in fact young people. Phenomena so condemned, such as the exploitation of minors, rape, pedophilia, but also certain atrocities committed not on minors, but by minors -- are not born from nothing. They are, at least in part, the result of the climate of exasperated excitation in which we live and in which the most fragile succumb.
It was not easy, once it began, to stop the mudslide that some time ago struck Sarno and other populations of Campania, destroying them. It was necessary to avoid the felling of trees and other environmental damages that made the mudslide inevitable. The same is true for certain tragedies connected to sex: Having destroyed the natural defenses, the tragedies become inevitable.
But today it is not enough to have a purity based on fears, taboos, prohibitions, the mutual escape of man and woman, as if each one of them were, always and necessarily, a trap for the other and a potential enemy, instead of, as the Bible says, "a help." It is necessary to stress defenses that are no longer external but internal, based on personal convictions. Purity must be cultivated for itself, for the positive value it represents for the individual, and not only because of concerns of health or good name to which its transgression exposes one.
Purity ensures the most precious thing that exists in the world: the possibility to approach God. "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God," said Jesus. They will not see him just one day, after their death, but already now: In the beauty of creation, of a face, of a work of art; they will see him in their own hearts.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Cantalamessa, Samuel, Corinthians, Purity, God
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Implant allows paralyzed man to move arm using his thoughts HD Video
- Victims of Texas horror crash identified as faithful church members
- Daily Reading for Friday, March 31st, 2017 HD Video
- Another life lost - Pray for Mexico's priests
- Daily Readings for Thursday, March 30, 2017
- Pregnant woman martyred for Jesus is beatified
- St. Peter Regulatus: Saint of the Day for Thursday, March 30, 2017
- Daily Reading for Thursday, March 30th, 2017 HD
- Cause of California's drought is revealed HD
- Pope Francis' important message for children HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.