SEXUAL LAXITY

Monday 27th October – Monday of week 30 of the year

Reflection: Ephesians 4: 32 – 5: 8

SEXUAL LAXITY

Our perception of life goes a long way in influencing our way of life. If we consider life to be a stage on which to grab all that we can for the benefit of ourselves, we can only end up living purely for self-gratification which guarantees nothing but misery and lack of fulfilment in life. As Myles Monroe rightly puts it “when purpose is unknown, abuse is inevitable”. If I lack the understanding of the purpose of life, I cannot but abuse it. In the same vein, when the purpose of sex is unknown, abuse is inevitable. Abuse of anything ultimately erodes the inherent goodness therein, because it runs contrary to the intent or plans of the manufacturer of creator.

By “abuse of sex”, I mean sexual immorality, sexual laxity. The “deployment” of sex beyond the boundary of divine purpose, which is conjugal unity and procreation within the sacrament of Holy Matrimony (CCC 2360- 2363; Hebrews 13:4; Genesis 1: 27-28). Our modern society has over time downplayed the primary intent of sexual relation; little wonder the attending consequences: increased prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), teenage pregnancy, abortion, rape, marital infidelity, divorce and heart breaks. St Paul gave a strong message against these in today’s first reading – “…You can be quite certain that nobody who actually indulges in fornication or impurity or promiscuity…can inherit anything of the kingdom of God…it is for these loose living that God’s anger comes down on those who rebel against Him.” Why should we deliberately set ourselves against God’s wrath for a fleeting “enjoyment”? Why should we want to jeopardize heaven for a transient pleasure?

As youths we must keep our passions in check. We must do away with all (lewd jokes, pornographic clips, indecent dressing, bad company etc.) that weakens our moral guard. Premarital sex destroys; it snowballs into marital unfaithfulness!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, I consecrate my body unto you. That in chastity I may honour you with my sexuality. Please strengthen me by the help of your grace. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 408 – How can you live as a young Christian if you are living in a premarital relationship or have already had premarital relations?

God loves us at every moment, in every “complicated” situation, even in a state of sin. God helps us to seek the whole truth about love and to find ways to live it more and more unambiguously and decisively.

In a conversation with a priest or a reliable, experienced Christian, young people can look for a way to live out their love with increasing integrity. They will learn that every life is a process and that, whatever has happened, they can make a new beginning with God’s help.

 HIDE A TREASURE:“Shun immorality. Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God?” 1 Corinthians 6: 18-19 RSV-CE

 Readings for Today: Ephesians 4: 32- 5:8; Psalm 1: 1-4, 6; Luke 13: 10-17

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WHAT MUST YOU BREAK AWAY FROM?

Sunday 26th October – 30th Sunday of the year

Reflection: 1 Thessalonians 1: 5-10

WHAT MUST YOU BREAK AWAY FROM?

An unexamined life, it is said, is not worth living. If we will make any significant impact in life, we must periodically take out time to evaluate our lives. We must have a proper knowledge of where we are coming from, where we are and where we are heading to in life. As we daily respond to varying situations and circumstances in life, our habits get formed. However, these habits go a long way in determining how we will end up in life.

From today’s second reading (1 Thessalonians 1: 5-10) we are told that the believers in Thessalonica broke with idolatry in order to serve the living God. Beloved in Christ, what must you and I, as youths break away from to better serve the Lord? Do you have habits limiting your achievement in life? Talk of pornography, fornication, masturbation, inordinate pursuit of riches, drunkenness, substance abuse – these are some “idols” that desecrate our lives and make it uninhabitable for God. Habits like procrastination, gluttony, lateness, reckless spending etc. can easily curtail our achievement in life if not put in check.

Periodic appraisal of our lives helps us to identify these “dark spots”. Awareness of them alone is insufficient; we must concretely move against all that seeks to debar us from being the best God has purposed us to be (Hebrews 12:1; Jeremiah 29:11). This we cannot independently achieve by our own might; we need to seek and trust in God’s grace (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13). Our God is willing and able to help us out of all these when we genuinely cooperate with him.

PRAYER: Oh Lord! By the help of your grace, I renounce all that undermines my relationship with you and all that prevents me from being the best that you have called me to be. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT304 – Why is it virtuous to be moderate?

Moderation is a virtue because immoderate behavior proves to be a destructive force in all areas of life.

Someone who is immoderate abandons himself to the rule of his impulses, offends others by his inordinate desires, and harms himself. In the New Testament words like “sobriety” and “discretion” stand for “moderation”.

 HIDE A TREASURE: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us” Hebrews 12:1 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Exodus 22: 20-26; Psalm 18: 2-4, 47, 51; 1 Thessalonians 1: 5-10; Matthew 22: 24-40

THE JOY OF HIS PRESENCE

Saturday 25th October – Saturday of week 29 of the year

Reflection: Psalm 122: 1-5

THE JOY OF HIS PRESENCE

Most of us young Catholics were born and grew up in families that attended Mass every Sunday, hence it is a routine for us to wear our best clothes on Sunday and go to Church. However, as we grow into adolescents and adults, we must have more reasons for attending Mass than it being just a routine family practice.

Today’s psalmist recalls the joy he experienced when going up to the temple at Jerusalem; the Lord’s dwelling place. Dearest friend, you cannot experience true joy at the thought of attending Mass if you do not know the significance of the Mass. The Old Testament feast of the Passover attracted all Jews to the temple in Jerusalem once a year. This feast has been fulfilled and transformed in Christ, our Passover Lamb that has been sacrificed for the forgiveness of our sins. Each Mass we celebrate is a re-enactment of the sacrifice of our Lord; and we have the privilege of receiving Him into ourselves in the Eucharist.

Do you rejoice at the thought of attending Mass? Do you seek to attend Mass on other days apart from Sunday? Only when you realise that every Mass is an opportunity to receive Christ in a unique way; in a way that guarantees eternal life (John 6:54) would you truly experience a desire to avail yourself of the privilege of the Mass regularly and be able to say with the Psalmist “I rejoice when I heard them say: Let us go to God’s house” Psalm 122:1

PRAYER: Thank you Jesus for the gift of yourself in the Eucharist. Please help me to thankfully and joyfully avail myself of the opportunity to dine with you at Mass frequently. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 211 How important is the Eucharist for the Church?

The celebration of the Eucharist is the heart of the Christian communion. In it the Church becomes Church.

We are not Church because we get along well, or because we happen to end up in the same parish community, but rather because in the Eucharist we receive the Body of Christ and are increasingly being transformed into the Body of Christ.

 HIDE A TREASURE: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in Him.” John 6:41 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Ephesians 4: 7-16; Psalm 121: 1-5; Luke 13: 1-9

BEAR WITH ONE ANOTHER

Friday 24th October – Friday of week 29 of the year

Reflection: Ephesians 4: 1-6

BEAR WITH ONE ANOTHER

Though most people agree that no human being is perfect, we often forget that when others have wronged us and are more likely to remember it as an instrument of self-defence when we have wronged others.

St Paul tells us today that our Christian call demands that we “bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience” (Ephesians 4:2). To “bear with others” implies to put up with something unpleasant about them; to put up with their faults and failings. While we are not expected to encourage the faults of others, we are to bear with their weaknesses while we correct them gently and lovingly.

It is very easy for us to excuse our own faults but often difficult to excuse the faults of others. Let us always remind ourselves that others also experience discomfort and unpleasant situations as a result of our own failings; hence we too must be ready to patiently endure discomfort caused by the failings of those around us. Other people have to bear with us; just as we have to bear with them. As young Christians, we are called to be agents of peace wherever we find ourselves. Our approach to unpleasant situations must be that which is godly and promotes peace and harmony.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for putting up with my weaknesses and repeated failings. Please help me to imitate this great mercy you have shown me. Help me to bear with others patiently. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 290 – How does God help us to be free men?

Christ wants us to be “set free for freedom” (see Gal 5:1) and to become capable of brotherly love. That is why he sends us the Holy Spirit, who makes us free and independent of worldly powers and strengthens us for a life of love and responsibility. 

HIDE A TREASURE: “Be humble, kind, patient and bear with one another in love” Ephesians 4:2 CCB

Readings for Today: Ephesians 4: 1-6; Psalm 24: 1-6; Luke 12: 54-59