Tuesday, September 05, 2006

22nd Tuesday in Ordinary Time (II)
Spirit in the World

Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:10-16; Psalm 144; Luke 4:31-37

Good teachers often draw sharp distinctions to help their listeners understand the point they are making. Paul is no exception. In our reading he clearly distinguishes the spirit of the world from the Spirit of God. It is only in and through the Spirit of God that a spiritual person can discern the things of God, since it is only in and through the Spirit of God that one can have the mind of Christ. The distinction is thus not between spirit and world, but between two spirits: that of the world and that of God­. It is important to get this clear so as not to misunderstand. Paul is not advocating a withdrawal or escape from the world, but right judgment of what goes on in the world in the light of Christ.

This can be seen too in the way that Jesus operates in the gospel. His unity with His Father in the Holy Spirit enables Him not only to identify the unclean spirits that are at work in the world, but also to cast them out. There is no other-worldly escapism here, only a profound demonstration of the power and authority of the only Son of God.

As followers of Christ – His hands, feet and body – how may we better discern and follow the movements of God’s Spirit in our world today?

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