The meaning of human sexuality

Categories: Around the Diocese,Synod,World Meeting of Families

The following is the third in a 10-part series focusing on the 10 themes of the preparatory catechesis for the World Meeting of Families Sept. 22-27 in Philadelphia.

By Betsy Kneepkens
For The Visitor

Jesus proclaimed that “matter matters” by his incarnation. If we could step out of creation and let go of our inclinations, I believe we could easily see the mastery of our created universe — a harmony ordered by our Creator, with a diversity that tickles our intellect and a purpose that points us to him.

Humankind has an obligation to study the purpose of all creation. There is a sacredness to respecting God’s plan, which calls us to adore him and not repurpose his design to solely feed our desires. When we seek to exclusively satisfy our urges, we become misaligned with what God intends — and that act of change negatively affects the greater whole, even if we are not directly aware of the implications.

world-meeting-of-families-philadelphia-2015-logoSadly, our fallen nature beckons us to rationalize our self-driven choices. This causes the breakdown of the harmony with which our Creator gifted us. The crown jewel, the linchpin of creation, is the human person. Like nothing else earthly, our bodies and soul reveal the deepest understanding of the nature of our Creator, in whose image and likeness we are made. (Genesis 1:26). Consequently, nothing points us further away from God than acts that physically reject our purpose, and nothing reveals our misdirection away from our Creator more distinctly than the misuse of our bodies.

That is why the meaning of human sexuality is central to our relationship with our Creator. He carefully crafted our bodies so that we may know, love and serve him. All parts of the human body are complete in their function, like eyes to see and ears to hear. However, the parts of our anatomy that allow a male and female to be one are incomplete without the other.

This intimate union between a male and female is a sacramental act of completeness that gifts humanity with an opportunity to know God as a communion of persons.

The meaning of human sexuality is our way of knowing God intimately on earth. As God reveals himself in all of creation, he is revealed most particularly and clearly in the completeness that is provided by the union of male and female.

Christ came in the flesh so that we could experience God and trust that his love for us is real and tangible. He wanted us to know that matter is a tool God continuously uses to teach us about him. Our understanding of the matter that makes up us, both male and female, is his greatest teaching instrument of all.

Betsy Kneepkens is director of the Office of Marriage and Family Life in the Diocese of Duluth.