Rather short post today, as I am hoping to work on and finish the post alluded to on Friday. The verses and passages today will connect in some ways with that post, I hope. We begin with St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians:
16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.
Then we move to the Gospel according to St. John:
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8 The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
(John 3: 1-8)
Finally, we end with part of Psalm 49:
5 Why should I fear in times of trouble,
when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me,
6 men who trust in their wealth
and boast of the abundance of their riches?
7 Truly no man can ransom himself,
or give to God the price of his life,
8 for the ransom of his life is costly,
and can never suffice,
9 that he should continue to live on for ever,
and never see the Pit.
10 Yea, he shall see that even the wise die,
the fool and the stupid alike must perish
and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves are their homes for ever,
their dwelling places to all generations,
though they named lands their own.
12 Man cannot abide in his pomp,
he is like the beasts that perish.
(Psalm 49: 5-12)
Hopefully that future post will explain some of the connections between them.