long, deep, and lovely

For some reason, we tend to localize evil in our bodies more than in our mind, heart and spirit. We are terribly ashamed of our embodiment, and our shame is invariably located in addictive things like drinking, drugs, sex, overeating and body image. Maybe that is why God had to become a body in Jesus! God needed to tell us it was good to be a human body. That is central and pivotal to the Christmas message.

I’m surely for a proper sexual morality, but Jesus never once says this is the core issue. They tend to be sins of weakness or addiction, more than malice or power. In fact, Jesus says that the “prostitutes are getting into the kingdom of God” before some of us who have made easy bedfellows with power, prestige and possessions (Matthew 21:31). These are the attitudes that numb the heart, allow us to make very egocentric judgments and dull our general spiritual perception. For some reason, much of Christian history has chosen not to see this, and we have localized evil in other places than Jesus did. It is the sins of our mind and heart (see Matthew 5:20–48) that make the Big Picture almost impossible to see. This teaching is hidden in plain sight, but once we see it in text after text, we cannot any longer unsee it. Mary seems to have seen long, deep and lovely.

Richard Rohr, ofm

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