Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
(Romans 8:12-17;Luke 13:10-17)
An old Catholic family was living in the South during the Civil War. The family had a slave who continued to stay with it after emancipation. When the woman died, she was buried in the family plot. The inscription on her grave read that the woman served the family so long and faithfully that she became one of its members. Such is the kind of adoption to which St. Paul refers in the first reading today.
Paul reminds his readers that Christ has freed them from slavery to the flesh. They no longer have to appease the desire for every creaturely pleasure. Rather the Spirit of love has been poured into their hearts. Now imitating the goodness of God, they can live for others. Their expectation is nothing less than the glory of Christ resurrected from the dead.
Sometimes we feel that the only consolation in life is precisely some physical pleasure. Some even try to justify an illicit affair as “only natural.” Christ offers something more both in at the end of our days and in the current struggle. The companionship we offer one another in the Church is palpable. Satisfying as well is the sense that when we suffer, we join ourselves to Christ. Because of him and for the sake of our sisters and brothers in the Church, we strive to live every day in God’s grace.