Reflections on the readings for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (June 30, 2019): 1 KGS 19:16,19-21; PS 16:1-2,5,7-8,9-10,11; GAL 5:1,13-18; LK 9:51-62
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
Our Savior has set us free from the slavery of sin.
In his Epistles to the Galatians, Paul urges Christians to understand that we cannot do whatever we want to please ourselves and still be faithful to Jesus’ teachings. “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” (Galatians 5:13-14). When we hear the word flesh, we may think Paul is referring to something physical, perhaps what we eat or drink. But, in this case, it really means any part of our being – body and soul – that is focused on ourselves rather than God. Our spirit is meant to be God-centered. So when we seek to do and to be what He asks of us, our spirit truly lives and thrives by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
We can never really love our neighbors as ourselves if we do not do so for the love of God – and through the love of God. Choosing the will of God as our own is the only way to be free – free from sin, from selfishness, from the world. The Holy Spirit is always ready to guide us and guard us if we open ourselves to His power and turn away from any personal preferences or temptations that lead us away from Him.
Suggested missionary action: We can do something today to show love for a neighbor. It could be someone we may never usually think much about, but who is in need of an act of kindness. Let us demonstrate our love for God and neighbor, half a block or half a world away, in some concrete way.