"Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit for anything as coming from us; rather, our qualification comes from God, who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life." 2 Cor 3:5-5
Sometimes St Paul gets it just right. Although it is difficult for us to remember that all we have is a gift, the Gospel clearly calls us to this attitude and stance, and Paul insists that although he has spent years studying the Torah, his knowledge pales in comparison to the gift he received from God to know and believe in Jesus. Only after admitting that he not only ignored the message of the Gospel, but actively worked against it, does Paul realize the gift of the new Covenant in Jesus is beyond anything he could have imagined.
More, when Paul rejects a life that only adheres to the letter of the Law, which he insisted upon as a rabbi, he opens himself and his followers to following the Spirit of the law, and this frees him to know a God of infinite love and mercy who is active in his life. To get to this place of freedom in the Spirit, Paul had to encourage Christians to actively discern God's will, not simply submit to it as if it were a demanding King. Believers must listen, reflect carefully and pray deeply to know God and God's will for us in Jesus.
It is often easier for some Christians to obey the church's teaching authority blindly than to probe and discern carefully what it is the Bishops are saying when they teach. Every adult knows that it his or her responsibility to weigh and sift through many options in life in order to live well. How much more important this is as we search for a way to live the Gospel authentically and completely. Careful attention to and prayerful reflection upon what is happening in the world is an essential element of knowing how to follow Christ in all the circumstances of our lives.
Today, ask God to show you the Spirit of the Law in your discernment.
What is most difficult for you in interpreting the Gospel in our times?