What Are You Looking For?

Jan 10, 2018

Gospel Reflection, 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Samuel 3: 3b-10, 19; 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20; John 1: 35-42

What Are You Looking For?

In our gospel Jesus asks us a breathtaking question, “What are you looking for?” These words call us to search our desires.  Jesus is drawing us to himself through the longings of our heart.  No matter what we are doing, we are looking for Christ.  The Lord once said to Saint Catherine of Siena, “I who am infinite God want you to serve me with what is infinite, and you have nothing infinite except your soul’s love and desire.”  “You are not your own.” God’s law is God’s desire and it has been placed within our heart.  To do his will is our delight.  To remain in communion with him is that which satisfies our deepest longings.

Saint Paul gives us insight into this in a specific way that pertains to our world today.  “The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.”  He continues, “Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person commits a sin against his own body.”  In today’s world of modern communications a tidal wave has come – the tidal wave of pornography.  Through electronic communication, never before has pornography been so available.  A study between 2009 and 2010 involving 400 million websites concluded that 13% of all searches were for erotic content.  A 2014 study by the Barna Group concluded that 79% of 18-30 year-old men view pornography at least once per month.  For women ages 18-30, the figure is 63%.  Percentages decrease only moderately for older age groups.

This is distressing when we consider the effect that this has on relationships and how we view each other.  To view pornography is to settle for a poor parody of intimacy that objectifies another and leads to break up of marriages and inability to connect in real ways with others.  In 2002 the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 56% of all divorce cases involved one spouse having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.”

What do I recommend?  First of all, confession.  Come and receive the mercy of God.  Admit that this pathway was the wrong one and that it is time to respond to the question of Jesus, “What are you looking for?” by following Him.  Second, I recommend reclaimsexualhealth.com.  This website, sponsored by the Diocese of Green Bay, has helped many people overcome sexual addiction.  This is hard to overcome because it is scientifically proved that it works like an addiction.  Our brains form habits so that it becomes easier to do routine things.  It is the way we are wired.  However, we can retrain our minds to shrink the influence of old habits and re-form good habits that truly help us not only avoid pornography, but build and commit to healthy relationships while doing healthy activities that truly help us grow as persons.  May God bless us as we navigate our way in this new world of electronic communication.

Father Tony