Today's Scripture Reading
15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
There are so many opportunities to “belong” in today’s society. We can join all sorts of groups, clubs, political, religious, sports, books, gangs, you name it and there is probably a group of some sort to belong to. The groups and people who we say we “belong” to can influence who we are and how we think and act. They can also take up a lot of our time and energy. Look at the apostle Paul for instance, and what he was doing on the road to Damascus (“persecuting people”) when he experienced conversion. Then look at what he did after his conversion, quite a difference in actions from a religious “zealot” to an apostle of Jesus. I know people who will not affiliate themselves with those who are a “bad” influence on them. For me the lines are more blurry. I want and hope to see the face of Christ in everyone. I want them to find that in me too. That does not always happen.
Paul seems to be emphasizing our human weakness, frailty and sinfulness. We humans, are quick to attach ourselves to the bad, the evil, the sinful, knowing full well that what we are doing is not good for us. The truth is that God has given us the ability to distinguish what is good and holy in this world. God has given us Jesus, divinity on earth, to follow and reveals to us; God. God does desire for us to do “what is good” and will give us the strength and courage to do it if we but open ourselves to God. God desires good for us and has from the beginning. God has created us and proclaimed Creation, good. God, grant us the strength and courage to follow your will for us.
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