A City Destroyed Because Of God's Disapproval

Monday of Week 13 in Ordinary Time - Cycle I

Gen. 18:16-33 & Mt. 8:18-22

The city of Sodom, God had determined, was to be destroyed because of its wickedness. The inhabitants were notorious for their homosexual behaviour. Ever since the name of the city has given its name to the sin of sodomy.

The destruction of the city was a clear indication of God's disapproval of homosexual practices. All sin is offensive to God and at the same time harmful to the sinner. Nowadays the sinful aspect of sodomy seems to have been forgotten. It is discussed and practised openly. It is portrayed in films and on television. Across most of the world there are gay bars and clubs where men can meet and find sexual partners. Homosexuality is no longer illegal yet it is still sinful although modern society has moved on from tolerance to acceptance and it has now become almost respectable.

We are all born with a certain sexual orientation. Most of us are heterosexual; some are homosexual by natural inclination. We are not responsible for that orientation but we do have control over our use of it. God's will is that sexual relationships must exist only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. Sex between two men or two women, sex with a partner who is married to someone else, or sex outside marriage is contrary to God's will and therefore sinful. Those of us who are called to the vocation of marriage must be faithful to our partners. Those who have taken vows of chastity in the priesthood and religious life must remain faithful to their calling.

What about single lay people, whether heterosexual or homosexual? They have to lead a chaste life. Has the Church, in its emphasis on marriage and the religious life, tended to overlook the problems of those who have to live alone in the world? There may have been a lack of understanding of the needs and temptations experienced by single people. They need the support and encouragement which the Church can give them through prayer, through the Sacraments and through Christian friendship.

I feel sorry for young people today. They are exposed to the pressures of the media's constant promotion of permissiveness. Previous generations were shielded from such pressures. How unfortunate they are if they do not have caring parents and the Church to guide them as to what is right and wrong. They have their lives to live and we must keep them in our prayers.

Have we become so comfortable that there is no room for God in our lives? Are we satisfied with basic necessities or are we always looking for more? In the Gospel we have the example of Jesus Who, during His public ministry, never even had so much as a roof over His head. He relied entirely on the providence of His loving Father. I am sure Jesus doesn't expect all of us to go to such lengths but to realise that there is more to life than money and its pursuit. Anyone who wants to follow Him must be willing to make sacrifices in terms of physical comforts and material possessions. We all want to live decently, pay our bills and feed our families, but if earning money is our sole purpose in life, then we are enslaved just as the Israelites were in Egypt. It is in turning back to God that we will find true freedom.

Heavenly Father, may we always remember that sex is good for You created it. May we use the gift of sexuality as only You intend. Like Your Son may we be content with what we have and not be covetous and so always unhappy.