FREEDOM FROM SLAVERY TO SENSUAL LUST

Jesus seems to be much less strict or condemnatory about sins of the flesh – of sensuality, compared to his judgments against sins through love of wealth or hypocrisy. Interestingly too, he is specially severe against seducers but incredibly tolerant and even gentle with women who have been seduced. Read the story, for instance, of the woman taken in adultery (Jn. 8, 1-11). How gently he deals with her and how cleverly he makes the crowd of her condemers slink away shamefully by saying: “He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone!” So too, Mary the prostitute after she was converted, became one of his greatest follower and lover.

Here too, Jesus is much more particular about purity of heart than merely of the body. And here again, in his Sermon on the Mount, he gives us clear teaching on interior purity:

“You have heard it said: Do not commit adultery! But I tell you : anyone who looks at a woman and wants to possess her is guilty of committing adultery with her in his heart” (Mt. 5, 27-28).

Again, as in the Gita “desire” is considered the root cause of sins, so here Jesus tells us that inner purity demands a readiness to root out from the heart all lewd thoughts and desires, even if it means doing violence to ourselves and suffering physically:

“If your hand or your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is better for you to enter life without a hand or foot than to keep both hands and feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye should cause you to sin, take it out and throw it away! It is better for you to enter life with only one eye than to keep both eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell” (Mt. 18, 8-9).

Naturally Jesus did not mean us to take this injunction literally. To attain such freedom of heart from all the above “slaveries” we need no doubt great faith in God and in the power of prayer for as Jesus often showed, what is or seems impossible to man is possible to God (Lk. 1, 37).

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ફાધર વર્ગીસ પોલ, એસ.જે.
(ડિરેક્ટર, સી.આઈ.એસ.એસ.)


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