At Mass today, I listened to the second reading from Galatians 5:1, 13-18 and thought to myself that St. Paul is talking about my daily battle in life. Here is what he wrote … Brothers and sisters: For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love. For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another. I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
I can honestly say that loving my neighbor as myself is something I am constantly aware of and strive to do. I no longer seek to be better than, bite or devour others. I want us all to go to heaven and spend the rest of our lives together in the presence of God. I am blessed with the power of the Holy Spirit living in me and in this way, glorifying God with the freedom I am given.
Here is my problem. Even with the Holy Spirit living in me, the desire of the flesh is screaming in me. It is a constant battle. I know who wins the battle at the end of time and I elated that the Holy Spirit wins but will this struggle continue for the rest of my life on earth? Only God only knows but my hope is in Jesus that His Spirit will cast out the desires of the flesh in me. Come Holy Spirit, Come.
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Mike Burke; Sunday, June 26, 2016