30 Jul Tuesday
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.