Reading 1, Second Corinthians 4:7-15
Gospel, Matthew 5:27-32
‘You have heard how it was said, You shall not commit adultery.
But I say this to you, if a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye should be your downfall, tear it out and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of yourself than to have your whole body thrown into hell.
And if your right hand should be your downfall, cut it off and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of yourself than to have your whole body go to hell.
‘It has also been said, Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a writ of dismissal.
But I say this to you, everyone who divorces his wife, except for the case of an illicit marriage, makes her an adulteress; and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
To follow God’s way is to deny ourselves of temptations that lead us to sin, to give ourselves wholly to God, the journey to purify ourselves so as to gain God’s kingdom. God so loves us that he gives us freewill to choose, and His grace ever-ready for our repentance.
Jesus’ strong words about “losing one part of yourself, than have your whole body go to hell” is a stern warning to believers, due to the amount of sin they had committed.
It is through stern words and visualisation, Jesus taught us about purifying ourselves by losing bad influences and other factors that may lead us to sin.
Today’s gospel talks about sexual temptation. How has this verse played a part in our spiritual lives? What do we try to lose when we are faced with temptation?
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. (James 1:13, NIV)
Prayer against temptationBehold me, O my God, at Your feet!I do not deserve mercy,but O my Redeemer, the blood with You have shed for me encourages me and obliges me to hope for it.How often I have offended You, repented, and yet have I again fallen into the same sin. O my God, I wish to amend, and in order to be faithful to You,I will place all my confidence in You.I will, whenever I am tempted, instantly have recourse to You.Until now, I have trusted in my own promises and resolutions and have neglected to recommend myself to You in my temptations.This has been the cause of my repeated failures.From this day forward, be You, O Lord, my strength,and this shall I be able to do all things,for “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.”Amen.