St. Paul gets quite a bad rap in our culture awash in feelings, desires, emotions. They are the “things below” , and the disciple should be trained rigorously in “putting to death” what is earthly. His list of earthly things is bracing and damning, especially for us today. Our politics is all about lies, greed, and impurity.

I wonder if Paul means that desire itself is evil in itself, or that desires are some good and she evil. That latter leaves it rather open, whereas one suspects that Paul means that desire itself is evil. “The parts of you” is a single word in the Greek and means literally bodily parts. Remember the hyperbolic times that Jesus himself spoke of cutting off hand, leg, and learning out of an eye!

Part of this thinking goes back to Plato and even further, regarding the distinction of “earthly” and “heavenly”, above and below, that they exist together in the world, but the heavenly is the better and to be sought after.

The rich man in the parable sure did not get it, and is called foolish for his disordered stewardship of earthly things.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

No Comments

Post A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.