Good afternoon!

Yesterday we had the feast of Mary Magdelaine, the most famous prostitute in history!

Mary, touched by God turned her life around and became the first person to see the risen Jesus and was commissioned by Him to go and tell the apostles!!

What a turn-about, this filthy whore now transformed into a radiant evangelist!!

In today’s world I think no other saint can help us more! We live in a sex-crazed society.

So what did Jesus see when He saw Mary for the first time? He saw her heart and understood her. He did not judge her!

As we know today there are very many women (and men) forced into the sex trade and manipulated by those in power who are in desperate need of true love.

In today’s society almost every film, every tv program is about sex and all sorts of relationships. Pornography is available from the youngest of ages …

So is it any wonder that young people of today are sex-crazed when they have been raised with this as a norm!

I meet a lot of people in the gay scene and the stories are extreme. Just one to share is from last night. A young guy of 23 was talking to me and asked me how many people I’d had sex with! Not too keen on replying I turned the question around!

“I lost count at 850” he replied!

To be honest I was expecting more! His 19 year old friend was at 150 so he’d need to speed up a bit if he’s to get to 850 in 4 years!!

How does Jesus react to this?!

With mercy!

People who have so much sex are in fact extremely loving affectionate people who are in turn seeking love and affection! Often they find it hard to be alone and know of no other way of expressing love than by sex.

After a while the habit forms and having sex becomes just like smoking a cigarette!

Furthermore, in the world of sex people talk very freely about their sexual preferences and experiences, there is no shame. It is what it is and people just get on with it!

So if we meet these people, we too need to be comfortable in our sexualities and bodies so that we may talk openly about God’s plans for our bodies without any sense of shame!

And this brings me to my final point! If we in the church blush at words such as sex or masturbation then how on earth are we going to be able to bring the healing power of God’s love to a generation who speak about sex without shame?!

Perhaps the answer is obvious! Before taking the splinter out of our neighbours eye we must start by taking the plank out of our own!

All of us in church are sexual beings too with desires and fantasies, with struggles and pasts! If we could be as open about our sexualities in the church in a spirit of love and healing as others are in the spirit of lust we would be transformed beings!!

Jesus made us with sexuality, He loves us with sexuality and when we receive Him in the eucharist, He desires to unite Himself with our entire beings including our sexualities which He in turn purifies.

Jesus is the lover of lovers and if our sex-crazed generation knew that a love beyond sex is available every day at mass instead of asking how many people you’ve slept with, they may be asking how many masses we have attended!!

So in summary, we are all human and we are made for love and whether we are sex-maniacs or devout catholics, Jesus desires to pour His love into every fibre of our beings and transform us from the inside.

As catholics, Jesus desires us to be free! To be free and fully human, to allow His love to flow and glow through us so that others will ask us “what’s your secret”!

He does not desire us to live in fear and scruples frustrated like a hen before she hatches nor does He desite us to be sexually promiscuous!

The freedom that He desires is the freedom of spirit, a fruit of prayer, healing and full integration of body, mind and spirit!

My prayer today is for our church and world that the veil of shame and taboo may be lifted off sexuality and the body and that we may bring even these intimate areas of our beings to Jesus for healing, loving and spiritual renewal so that when others see our joy and freedom, like Mary Magdelaine, they will keel before Jesus who is the only one who can fulfil the aching desires of their hearts!

Saint Mary Magdelaine, bring sexual healing to our church so that she can bring sexual healing to our world!

Have a great day