Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional – Tenth Week in Ordinary Time – Friday – Matthew 5:27-32
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, Jesus 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; today’s deadly scourge of pornography is technologically enabled lustful viewing.
Christ then speaks of gouging out one’s right eye and 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 for it is 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.
Jesus then refutes the common understanding that men and women can divorce. Shockingly, Jesus makes it clear that those who divorce commit adultery and those who marry someone who has been divorced commits adultery.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ, the Son of God, asserts His authority to dramatically strengthen the 1200 year-old 6th Commandment and affirms the reality of Hell (i.e. Gehenna). Christ, Divine Prophet, speaks the truth about the sinful acts of lust, specifically and clearly calling it adultery; He almost certainly also is condemning masturbation as a sin as bad as adultery. 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 astounds as He asserts the authority to significantly amend Mose’s 1200 year-old law received directly from God. Given that Christ does not claim that He was given authority by God (like Moses) it is implicit that He is His own authority; Jesus is speaking and acting like God. Be awed.
2) There is a heretical teaching being promoted by some in the Church who claim that divorced men and women can licitly receive the Eucharist. This must be opposed for it is directly contradictory to Christ’s own words. Men who have divorced are in a perpetual state of mortal sin must refrain from committing the further sin of receiving the Eucharist in an unworthy manner. If you are divorced, continue to go to Mass frequently with repentance and sorrow, seeking God’s Divine Mercy while refraining from receiving the Eucharist.
3) The modern culture is permeated with pornography, delivered to men for free via the phones and computers. Medical and psychology experts promote the “healthy” practice of masturbation. Consider Christ’s clear condemnation of looking at a women with lust and realize that viewing pornography and masturbation are forms of adultery. Go to Confession.
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