2 Corinthians 3:4-11; Matthew 5:17-19

There is a wonderful short line in 2 Cor 3:6.  It comes at the end of the first paragraph of the first reading used at Mass today:  "The written law kills, but the Spirit gives life."  The volumes that have been written about the contrast of law and spirit in our lives testify that for many Christians this opposition touches on something deep, pervasive, and recurring.

What if I would set out today to perform one action that comes not from the law but from the Spirit?  What might that action be? An unexpected word of encouragement to a struggling co-worker? A gratuitous word of interest in the activities of a son, daughter, or parent?

Jesus is the human being who danced on his grave, who brought the biggest surprise ever!  His presence among us now is known by the Spirit that keeps erupting in ways that could never be predicted by the laws of physics, sociology, or corporate dynamics. That Spirit's life-giving could never be legislated by the laws of state or religion.

What can I do today to let a little life-giving eruption happen in the human circle that I share?

In another place (Gal 5:22) Paul speaks of the fruit of the spirit:  "love, joy, peace, patient endurance, kindness, generosity, faith, mildness, and chastity."  When he finishes the list, he exclaims pointedly:  "Against such there is no law!"  Let's use our imaginations today not just to fulfill someone's law but to find an act of kindness that could never be legislated.  Let a new little eruption of Jesus' Spirit bring encouragement to someone near us -- and to us too!

By Gregory I. Carlson

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