Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Tuesday after Epiphany

Saint Raymond of Penyafort (1175-1275)

Readings of the Day
RB: Prol 45-50
Mass: 1 Jn 4:7-10; Resp Ps 72; Mk 6:33-44

Justice shall flourish in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more.

(1 Jn 4:7)

Today's musings come from our reading at Vigils (Gal 5:13-21) and the Holy Father's homily preached this morning at Casa Santa Marta.

In his epistle, Paul urges the Galatians to live by the Spirit, to be guided by the Spirit. For if we do not live by the Spirit, we fall into works of the flesh, for example, immorality, impurity, idolatry, selfishness, occasions of envy, "and the like" (Gal 5:19-21). These works of the flesh may also be called what Pope Francis spoke about this morning, that is "terrible worldliness", like "wasting money" and when "everything is permissible", times when we follow the "spirit of the world". It may be easy to say we will never fall into what Paul calls "works of the flesh", or what Pope Francis calls "terrible worldliness", but we know life is not so easy. In our human frailty and weakness, we stumble and fall; we become disillusioned and caught up in things. In our attempts to fit in and keep up with the Joneses so to speak, we get confused and are unable to distinguish between the spirit of the world, and the Spirit of God. To help us, Pope Francis offers these words based on the First Letter of John (1 Jn 4:1-6): 

The Apostle John gives us this advice: 
"Dear friends, do not give faith to every spirit (i.e., to every feeling, every inspiration, every idea), but test the spirits, to test whether they really come from God (or from the world)". But what does it mean to test the Spirit? It is simply this: when you feel something, you feel like doing something, or you come up with an idea, a judgment of something, ask yourself: is this what I feel from the Spirit of God or from the spirit of the world? 

So many people live without knowing what goes on in their hearts. We ask for the grace to remain in the Lord and to distinguish the Spirit of God from the spirit of the world, so that our heart may be the meeting point between God and us.
(Pope Francis, Twitter, January 7, 2020)


Today's photo: Lake Tippecanoe, Indiana. A peaceful summer scene.

© Gertrude Feick 2020

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