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Wednesday, October 14, 1998

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Pope St. Callistus I

Galatians 5:18-25
Psalm 1
Luke 11:42-46

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the key scripture verse

"Since we live by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's lead." —Galatians 5:25

Sometimes you will find that most of the verses of the Scripture passages for Mass each day are acceptable even to pagans, secular humanists, and fallen-away Catholics. For example, in today's Gospel reading, Jesus points out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and tells the Bible lawyers not to burden people without helping them (Lk 11:43-46). Many anti-Christians certainly agree with Jesus on these two points. In today's reading from Galatians, the fruit of the Spirit is described as love, joy, and peace (Gal 5:22). Almost everyone believes in love, joy, and peace, although they may define these words differently than Christians do. However, many non-Christians and even some Christians rabidly reject something in the daily Scripture readings. If we obey the Lord in these difficult passages, then we are truly following the Spirit's lead (Gal 5:25).

For most Christians, the key Scripture verse for today is Galatians 5:24: "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires." The Lord commands us to accept His grace so we will have crucified flesh, crucified passions, and crucified desires. Although some people believe in toning down the flesh and not following every whim (see Eph 2:3), the idea of "crucified flesh" smacks of extremism and fanaticism to those programmed in our secular humanistic "culture of death." Here's where the real Christians stand up. Obey even the difficult verses, live by the Spirit, and follow the Spirit's lead. Obey Galatians 5:24 and 5:25.

Prayer:  Father, send the Spirit to convict the world about sin (Jn 16:8) and to crucify me to the world (Gal 6:14).

Promise:  "In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patient endurance, kindness, generosity, faith, mildness, and chastity." —Gal 5:22-23

Praise:  St. Callistus was a slave, a fugitive, a convict; he became a pope and a saint.

Rescript:  ..

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, April 4, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 8, 1998