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Home » Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

Fruits of the Spirit

Submitted by on Wednesday, 15 October 2008No Comment
  • Reading I: Galatians 5:18-25
  • Resp. Psalm: Psalm 1:1-2,3-4.6
  • Gospel Reading:Luke 11:42-46



Galatians 5:18-25 must be understood within Paul’s earlier pronouncements about the Galatians having been freed by Christ for freedom (Galatians 5:1).  Their baptism has empowered them to live "in the Spirit".  In Paul, the contrast between "flesh" and "Spirit" represents two opposed life-directions, "away from God" and "towards God".   One knows whether one is living "away from God" or "towards God" by the fruits in one discerns in one’s life.  It should be noticed immediately that the "vices" and "virtues" Paul lists, include qualities relevant to a life of communion with one’s fellow baptized.  Among the fruits of the flesh, he lists: "hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies,…".  On the other hand, among the fruits of the Spirit are: "patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."   Both lists are to be understood as unfinished.  They are given as examples and Paul expects his readers to fill in the rest.  Paul adds that the fruits of the Spirit are not subject to any law, and therefore reinforces his contention that the Spirit, which is a Spirit of freedom, renders the Christian free from the Law.    Secondly, such qualities result from one who exercises oneself in the Spirit:  these suppose a process of dying to oneself, similar to what Jesus talks about when he says:  "Anyone who wishes to be my disciple must deny himself, carry his cross and follow me."   That is why Paul writes:  "those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires."  One’s baptism is also a commitment to be where Jesus is: at the right side of the Father, passing through the way of Good Friday.

Galatians 5:18-25
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
18But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law.
19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury,
20Idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects,
21Envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God.
22But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity,
23Mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law.
24And they that are Christ's, have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences.
25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Psalm 1:1-2,3-4
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the chair of pestilence.
2But his will is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he shall meditate day and night.
3And he shall be like a tree which is planted near the running waters, which shall bring forth its fruit, in due season. And his leaf shall not fall off: and all whatsoever he shall do shall prosper.
4Not so the wicked, not so: but like the dust, which the wind driveth from the face of the earth.
Luke 11:42-46
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
42But woe to you, Pharisees, because you tithe mint and rue and every herb; and pass over judgment, and the charity of God. Now these things you ought to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
43Woe to you, Pharisees, because you love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and salutations in the marketplace.
44Woe to you, because you are as sepulchres that appear not, and men that walk over are not aware.
45And one of the lawyers answering, saith to him: Master, in saying these things, thou reproachest us also.
46But he said: Woe to you lawyers also, because you load men with burdens which they cannot bear, and you yourselves touch not the packs with one of your fingers.
Galatians 5:1
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1Stand fast, and be not held again under the yoke of bondage.

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