Homily: Tuesday of the Second Week in Lent

Isa 1:10, 16-20 Ps 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21+23
Matt 23:1-12

It's hard to preach on hell on such a beautiful day, but I'll try...
Hell is created by a hardening of heart; this often happens under the facade of softening of heart.
Sodom and Gomorrah were the most depraved places. I have two stories.
First story. I was a taxi driver in Honolulu once--that was Sodom and Gomorrah. At a hospital, I picked up an old man and a younger. The nurse told him not to go. He was cursing, blaspheming up a storm. When I pulled up to the hotel, he got out, cursing and blaspheming, and dropped dead. I drove off; I'm not a medic. The hotel manager seemed unconcerned. This man was in a homosexual, pederastic relationship that undoubtedly started off in a loving way.
Story two. Back in the day, one of my friends went to grad school in Berkeley. I went to visit him, and he was in a homosexual relationship with a professor. Then as a novice, I wrote him to tell him that I thought what he was doing was wrong. I never heard back. 30-some years went by, and in a Berkeley bookstore I saw a book of his and his friends called "The Love of Men", or something to that effect. So I looked him up, got in contact with him, and the man had nothing but hatred for me. Now he's a big shot professor in the U-Cal system. He had love for men, but certainly not for this one. Not for the Catholic priest. This man said many Hail Marys when younger, and hopefully God will get through. When I called him later in life, he was still with his partner.
The practice of vices makes us vicious. Vices, especially sexual ones, poison the soul. We all have these poison darts which have wounded us. But if we don't heal these wounds the poison will spread. It's certainly not just homosexuals with this, it's everyone. Heterosexuals who practice contraception and abortion, same thing. Vices, especially sexual vices, make us less capable of love.
This is how hardening of our heart appears under the guise of love, of a softening: this torrid passion we have, which seems so hot, so hot, is actually cold: it is like pouring ice cold water on the fire of love; taking ice water, and dumping it on the fire of love.
Who loves more passionately, who loves more, than did Christ? Let us be agents of love, of purification, most especially of hope. Bring this healing balm of Christ's love to the world's woundedness.
Chastity is not so we can be a pretty daisy in the field, but to be a red rose, full of life, with passion for all.
Isaiah is addressing the people as Sodom and Gomorrah: hedonism. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though red like crimson, they shall be like wool." This is the gospel, the good news for humanity.

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