Continuing the Sermon on the Mount, Christ now addresses sexual sin. As He previously asserted the new higher standard of inner holiness when He denounced unrighteous anger (Matt 5:20-26), Christ lays out a new higher standard of chastity.

Referring to the Law of Moses given in the 6th Commandment against the sexual sin of adultery, Christ now specifically condemns the lust of men as they gaze upon women as sexual objects. Men who look at women with lustful thoughts are guilty of the mortal sin of adultery. Christ then speaks of gouging out one’s right eye and cutting off one’s right hand if it causes a man to sin.  Given that it directly follows Christ’s condemnation of lustful gazing, Christ is likely condemning masturbation; it is a common for men to masturbate after being aroused by women or images of women.

Christ is explicit in His condemnation of adultery (both consummated with a woman or in lustful imaginings of men), warning men to go to extreme measures (gouging of eyes, cutting off of hands) to avoid Gehenna, a reference to eternal burning Hell. Christ then refutes the common understanding that men and women can divorce.  Shockingly, Christ makes it clear that those who divorce commit adultery and those who marry someone who has been divorced commits adultery.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ asserts His authority to dramatically strengthen the 1200 year-old 6th Commandment and affirms the reality of Hell (i.e. Gehenna). Divine Prophet, Christ speaks the truth about the sinful acts of lust, specifically and clearly calling it adultery; He almost certainly also condemns masturbation. Divine Judge, Christ warns those who persist in adultery are in grave danger of spending eternity in Hell.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Christ does not claim that He was given authority by God (like Moses) it is implicit that He is His own authority; Christ is speaking and acting like God.  Be awed.

2) The modern culture is permeated with pornography, delivered to men for free via the phones and computers; the majority of men are continually tempted and fall into sexual sin. Renew your understanding of the 6th and 9th Commandments (CCC 2331-2359, 2514-2533), pray for Christ to help you to grow in chastity; go to Confession as needed.

3) Some in the Church heretically claim that men and women who divorce and remarry are not necessarily in a state of perpetual adultery and may even receive the Eucharist. This must be opposed for it is directly contradictory to Christ’s own words. Renew your understanding of the Church’s teaching on Divorce and Adultery (CCC 1643-1651, 2382-2386) and pray for Christ to have mercy on all those who are considering or have divorced.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ

Virtue of the Day – Faith

Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the sick

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To forgive all injuries