Today is Sunday the 26th June, the 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time.
It is the Spirit of love who gives life. God is the source of all life, the one in whom we live and move and have our being. As I look around me now, the “Spirit of love” may not be easy to see, but, if I try, can I sense God’s presence? Can I sense God’s Holy Spirit here? In these people? In me?
It is the Spirit of love who gives life,
who even at night guides my heart;
I say to this Spirit of love,
true joy lies in you alone.
You will show me the path of life,
the fullness of joy in your presence,
at your right hand your peace forever,
when we come to your life eternal.
You are the Spirit who gives life;
true joy lies in you alone
Today’s reading is from the letter to the Galatians.
For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law.
Some of the Galatians have forgotten the message of the Gospel, so Paul reminds them that they are supposed to live according to the Spirit. As you enter into prayer today, you might like to let an image of the spirit grow in your mind’s eye. How do you imagine this great gift of freedom that God gives us?
Look back on your home, work or studies. What are the indications that the spirit is at work there? You might be able to see the signs of the spirit as you look around yourself right now.
Listening again to the reading, notice the difference between slavery and spiritual freedom. What are the things that prevent you from giving a free response to God? How is God inviting you to respond freely at this time in your life?
As your prayer comes to a close, you might like to spend a moment considering how you could respond the most important command of the law: to love your neighbor as yourself.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.