Monday, October 12, 2020

 Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

 (Galatians 4:22-24.26-27.31-5:1; Luke 11:29-32)

 A young drug addict entered a rehabilitation program.  After a time of retreat, he was sent to work in a rectory.  In a month or two the priests were missing things in the rectory.  They confronted their worker.  He said that he might be an addict, but he was not a thief.  Eventually, the young man was let go, and no more things were missing from the rectory.

The young man could not control himself.  He needed restraints.  He was not truly free but under the spell of drugs.  Even if it meant stealing to acquire them, he would do it.  In the first reading, St. Paul is pleading with the Galatians not to have something similar happen to them.  They have been given true freedom with Baptism in Christ.  They should not trade this for subjection to the Jewish Law, no matter how right the Law makes them feel.  They should trust that acceptance of the Holy Spirit will allow them to live justly.  For this freedom Christ had set them free.

Few of us would want to take on the Jewish Law with its many knit-picking practices.  But some of us still do not care to live in the freedom of the Holy Spirit.  They may not be under the influence of drugs but of other interior impulses.  They insist on holding grudges and seeing the dismal side of things.  The Spirit’s freedom gives joy and peace to the soul.  Yes, it calls us to sacrifice our will in certain matters, but it also promises happiness, both short-term and eternal.