At any time in our life, we are always confronted with two opposing choices: we either choose to be with the Spirit, or go with the desires of the flesh. In today’s Second Reading, St. Paul exhorts us to “…live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.
For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. (Gal. 5:16-18).
That is why in the continuing daily struggle between good and evil, we are always confronted with the choice, “Who should we obey, the Spirit, or the flesh? These options cut across all areas of our life, as all of us possess a great number of virtues and gifts. We strive to be caring, kind, generous, selfless, loving, patient, and so on. At the same time, we can also be greedy, arrogant, angry, deceptive, lustful, lazy, jealous, and so on. As the National Fellowship of Catholic Men said, ‘We all have habits that are sinful and that need to be “cut off” and virtuous impulses that we need to “put on” more and more.’
When we are called to follow Christ, we have to realize that indecisiveness is already a choice for the flesh. We do that usually when we’re already in our comfort zones; we want it easy, so we don’t make any decision. Indecisiveness is indirectly a decision not to go the way of the high road, as it speaks of laziness and even non-commitment to Jesus’ calling. In this 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus calls us to follow Him and proclaim the Kingdom of God. We have the option to either accept His calling, or reject Him. “Who will I listen to more, the Spirit? or the flesh? If I’m having difficulties, how will I decide? As we grow in faith and love for Jesus, we gain insights on how our Lord would handle difficult circumstances. We eventually discern the will of God through the Holy Spirit working in our thoughts and actions. However, we’d need to spend time in prayer, the Eucharist and Scriptures. We need to do that in order to guard this love for things of Heaven as if it were a valuable pearl in our possession.
The moment we do this consistently, we are winning the battle without our realizing it. We become more and more like Jesus, and reflect Him to others. In so doing, we are already proclaiming the Kingdom of God by the fine example we show to others.