Brothers and sisters,
we are not debtors to the flesh,
to live according to the flesh.
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die,
but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body,
you will live. - Romans 8:12-17
Today's first reading gave me flashbacks of the 60's and 70's when I was growing up. My early childhood was spent in the 50's and when the late 60's and early 70's came around, I was a teenager and young adult. It was a culture shock going from June Cleaver in pearls cleaning house to Janis Joplin belting out Piece of My Heart.
During that time the culture shifted from girls (not boys) waiting to have sex until they got married to having sex with just about anyone that had a pulse. Debtors to the flesh doesn't even begin to describe it.
I was still of the mind that you waited to be married to have sex, but when I finally did, I also had the firm belief that I was going to marry the guy. Fortunately that didn't happen. Looking back there wasn't a whole lot that would have kept us together, including the sex. Religion played no role whatsoever.
Driven by the flesh got me nowhere. I was frustrated and adrift in my life. Once the Holy Spirit began to move in my life, my eyes were opened. The decisions I had made before had lead me to sin. Period. I realized my life could be very different. I could have a purpose and a life of meaning.
At the time, I had no idea what God had planned for me. I was on the brink of the decision to follow Him. I looked to Our Lord in deep regret for what I had done, but He showed me the debt was paid and I could move on.
I was finally free. But I still love Janis.