Friday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
(Romans Luke 7:18-25a: 12:54-59)
In Gethsemane Jesus’ disciples sleep while he is praying. He asked them to pray with him, but their bodies gave way to the natural tendency to doze off at night. Jesus makes an excuse for the disciples. He says, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is week.” St. Paul says something very similar in today’s first reading.
Paul is trying to explain why it seems that he never does the good that is in his heart. Rather he does the evil that his flesh seems to desire. Paul is speaking generally and does not specify any specific sins. People today may relate to what Paul is saying in dealing with pornography or gossip. They do not want to look at pornography but somehow their fingers cannot resist pressing its button. They may have resolved not to criticize others, but somehow there mouth cannot be quiet when certain names are mentioned.
Today’s passage only presents us the name of our deliverer from sinful deeds of the flesh. Jesus Christ will lead us from submission to fleshy desires. He will ask the Father to send us the Holy Spirit to strengthen our resolve. He will also provide eternal life as a motive for us to try harder. We find Jesus in the sacraments. We should not tire of asking his assistance there.