Friday of the 10th Week of Ordinary Time
Jesus’ warnings today can come off as grotesque–and if we are really listening, they sound downright unsettling. Yesterday, we heard about how the disposition of our hearts impacts our salvation. Today, Jesus gives us a warning about the role our bodies play in our sins. How we look at another depends in part on how we use our eyes; whether we harm another depends in part on how we use our hands. The same holds true for every other part, and even our bodies as a whole. It is not enough just to maintain a warm interior disposition towards others as we go about our days. Sin and grace is not just a matter of our interior disposition. It is also about how we act, and what we do with our bodies.
God does not just want to save our souls. God desires the whole person. We are destined for salvation both body and soul. Our physical existence is a good thing. The delight we take in physical activities and the beauty of the material world are legitimate delights–ones that would not be possible without eyes and ears and hands and feet. Our bodies are a good thing, and an essential part of who we are. But if they are a part of God’s plan for salvation, then God has a claim not just on our spiritual movements, but on our bodily actions as well. God wishes to save the whole person, and so asks for nothing less than the whole person–body and soul.