Daily Reflection
October 22nd, 2005

Fr. Dick Hauser, S.J.

Rector and the Theology Department
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Romans 8:1-11
Psalm 24:1b-2, 3-4ab, 5-6
Luke 13:1-9

It is hard to find a passage in Paul's epistles that gives us Christians more encouragement than today's reading from Romans 8:1-11: "The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed you from the law of sin and death."

What makes the passage so powerful to me is that Paul's enthusiasm for this new life in the Spirit flows from his personal experience.

Recall that before Paul's conversion he was a conscientious Jew, yes even a Pharisee. As such he was committed to seek holiness by observance of the
613 precepts of the Torah. Paul bemoans the fact that though the law imposed many obligations, the law itself gave no power to fulfill them. Paul's epistles reflect his discouragement at being unable to fulfill the law and so feeling weighed down by his sinful flesh.

But how things changed after his conversion to Jesus. As a disciple of Christ he is now invited to live by a new law: the law of the Spirit of Jesus received at Baptism. Paul is exultant because this law of the Spirit of God written on his heart frees him from the weight of his sinful self. The presence of the Holy Spirit actually gives the power to live this new life in Christ.

And what good news for all Christians. We have also received this power of the Spirit of Christ. Because of this presence, grace in us is stronger than sin in us! Our challenge, like Paul's, is learning to recognize -- to discern -- the promptings of the Holy Spirit rising up within us and to respond always. Upon this all our peace and happiness and fruitfulness in serving the Lord depends.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.
Let Your Friends Know About This Reflection By Sending Them An E-mail


Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook