A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Behavior matters

You are not under the law.

So says Saint Paul at the beginning of today’s first reading (Galatians 5:18-25). Indeed, he is quite clear throughout this entire epistle and elsewhere that physical adherence to the Law given through Moses is in many ways opposed to the true salvation that comes by grace through faith in Christ.

Some people wrongly think that all this means that behavior does not matter: that it does not matter what you do as long as you have faith.

Saint Paul makes it clear: behavior matters.

Now the works of the flesh are obvious:
immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry,
sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy,
outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness,
dissensions, factions, occasions of envy,
drinking bouts, orgies, and the like.

I warn you, as I warned you before,
that those who do such things
will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

In contrast,
the fruit of the Spirit is
Against such there is no law.

Now those who belong to Christ Jesus
have crucified their flesh
with its passions and desires.

If we live in the Spirit,
let us also follow the Spirit.