"Be doers of the word, and not hearers only."
Probably the most common way we Catholics today hear the word, but don't do it, is with contraception. So many Catholics use contraception - I know I'm preaching to the choir right now, but so many of our friends, neighbors, co-workers, even family members. The voice of the world is loud and constant, telling us we must use contraception to be happy. And, in light of mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services that our Catholic institutions will have to pay for these immoral acts in a year, it's much on our mind right now. Perhaps you have been asked, like I have, why is it wrong? Why is using contraception the opposite of "doing the word," the will of God?
There are a lot of things to say in response to that question. I really encourage you to get to know the answers that are in Humanae Vitae, and Evangelium Vitae, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. But right now, I want to offer you a very brief and simple theological argument to defend what the Church has always taught.
Look at Jesus on the Cross. Look at the blood dripping from His holy wounds. That's the blood that cleanses us from our sins.
Look at the hole in His side, where the lance went it. That's where the blood and water poured out, that gives His power to all the sacraments of the Church, everywhere and for all time.
That's the total gift of self. That image, right there, is what it means to do the word, and not only hear it. Jesus on the Cross makes a covenant with us, in His blood.
Now, imagine what that covenant would look like, if contraception were a part of the mind of God. Jesus would not be giving us the total gift of Himself. He would go up on the Cross, but not permit His blood to wash our wounds of sin. He would go up on the Cross, and not permit the lance to pierce His most sacred Heart. No blood and water would flow out into the seven sacraments we receive. He would love us, but not enough to transform us into Himself, through His suffering, death, and Resurrection. He would die, but not for us.
That's what contraception does. It's an act which denies that Christ wants to be our Savior, that that kind of love is even possible. Would people who use contraception still do so, if they understood this love? I don't think they understand. I don't want to condemn anyone for not understanding, for doing what seems to be necessary, or for being tricked or coerced into something. But I do want to condemn the idea of contraception. It's an idea that cannot be reconciled to the love of Christ. It's a false god.
St. James also says in the reading today, "The one who peers into the perfect law of freedom (the law of the Cross) and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts; such a one shall be blessed in what he does." May God in this Holy Eucharist strengthen our faith, and keep us united with Christ our Savior.