24th General Audience, April 16, 1980
You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you: Whoever looks at a woman to desire her [in a reductive way] has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Mt. 5:27-29).
A fundamental revision of the way of understanding and carrying out the moral law of the Old Covenant.
Applies to the Commandments:
5th You shall not kill (Mt. 5:21-26)
6th You shall not commit adultery (Mt. 5:27-32)
8th You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord (Mt. 5:33-37)
Matthew 5:27-28--Ethical Meaning
We see in the words of Christ a difference from the Book of Exodus.
A morality in the existential sense not formed by the norms of commandments, precepts and prohibitions, “you shall not…”
The morality of being human is formed interior perception of values, from which duty as an expression of conscience is born, the answer to the personal “I.”
Interior of man as a subject of morality.
You shall not desire your neighbour’s wife (Ex 20:17; Deut 5:21).
Christ connects these verses on the Sermon on the Mount, But I say to you, Whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Refers to the interior dimension.
The desire, finds visible expression in the “act of the body” the act which woman and man share, which is contrary to the law -- conjugal act is in the exclusivity of marriage.
Matthew 5:27-28 -- Anthropological Meaning
25th General Audience, April 23, 1980
1. The man whom Jesus addresses on the Sermon of the Mount is historical man, present man, future man, every man.
Matthew 5:27-28 Indicates a Further Dimension
2. Adultery which is what the commandment refers to, signifies the violation of the unity in which man and woman can unite only as spouses solely, as they are one flesh.
3. Adultery of the heart, committed by the look of the individual, to desire a man or woman, to become one flesh, outside of marriage.
4. Adultery is what the man or woman has committed in their heart with their look.
THE MAN OF CONSUPISCENCE
26th General Audience, April 30, 1980
1. 1 Jn.2:16-17 teaches about threefold concupiscence: All that is in the world, the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life.
2. Result of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17).
MEANING OF ORIGINAL SHAME: CASTING DOUBT ON THE GIFT
3. Concupiscence: They were aware of their nakedness and sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths (Gen. 3:6). The situation after the fall, the new state of human nature.
Does this not suggest the beginning of concupiscence in man’s heart?
MAN ALIENATED FROM ORIGINAL LOVE
27th General Audience, May 14, 1980
After from eating from the tree of knowledge there is a depth of shame that they feel before each other, and a sense of fear before God, a fear previously unknown.
I heard the sound of your step and I was afraid because I am naked, and I hid myself (Gen. 3:9-10).
Through nakedness man is deprived of participation in the Gift, man alienated from the Love that was the source of the original gift, the source of fullness of good intended for the creature.
The man was deprived of the supernatural and prenatural gifts that were part of his endowment before sin; (holiness, innocence and justice)
In addition he suffered damage in what belongs to nature itself, to humanity in the original fullness of the image of God. (Will was weakened.)
CHANGE IN THE MEANING OF ORIGINAL NAKEDNESS
28th General Audience, May 28, 1980
The shame found in humanity itself, both immanent and relative - manifests itself in human interiority and the other, respectively.
1. Suggests that “man of concupiscence” in the act of the knowledge of good and evil experienced that he had simply ceased, also through his body and his sex, to remain above the world of living beings.
2. As if he had experienced a specific fracture of the personal integrity of his own body, particularly in that which determines its sexuality and which is directly linked with the call to that unity in which man and woman will be one flesh. (Gn. 2:24).
3. Birth of human concupiscence.
4. Human heart possesses both desire and shame. The birth of shame, when man is closed to what comes from the Father, and opens himself to what comes from the world.
Fr. David Bellusci, O.P.
List of Titles
Lesson 1: What is meant by "Beginning"?