We shouldn’t live all our lives trying to contain ourselves. There’s a different, Gospel way.
Today’s readings are here.
Today’s gospel reminds us clearly that there’s a kind of vigilance that applies to our gaze. The goal isn’t to burden us with an unhealthy sense of puritanism, but rather to tell each of us that it’s not enough to control our exterior behavior; we must also observe “hygiene” of the heart.
You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
We spend our lives polishing the mask we wear, hoping that other people will only see the glitter of our talents and performances. We forget that there’s a place within us, our heart, which no one can enter but inside which our relationship with God plays out. It’s as if Jesus is telling us that we must be the same people inside and out; that the mask shouldn’t cover the truth, but simply be the most visible part of ourselves.
He’s telling us that if we don’t resolve many things within ourselves, then we will only be repressed people who try all our lives to contain ourselves, instead of people who have accepted, resolved, and dealt with the many knots that sooner or later come to the surface in the course of our life. Realigning our desires with our choices is a sign that we’re people who have regained inner unity.
Such people make a difference, and they are the least moralistic of all. Many moralists, on the other hand, are that way precisely because they have not yet truly resolved many issues that they carry around inside as taboos.