A Reading From Paul’s Letter To The Faith Community In Galatia

So Christ has made us free. Now make certain that you stay free and don't get all tied up again in the chains of slavery to laws and rituals. Listen to me, for this is serious. If you are counting on keeping the laws and rituals to make you right with God, then Christ cannot save you. I'll say it again. Christ is useless to you if you are counting on clearing your debt to God by keeping laws and rituals; if you do so, you are lost from God's grace.

But by the help of the Holy Spirit we are counting on Christ's death to clear away our sins and make us right with God. And we to whom Christ has given eternal life don't need to worry about whether we have been circumcised or not, or whether we are obeying ritual laws and religious regulations or not. For all we need is faith working through love.

God has called you to freedom in Christ. Dear brother and sister, you have been given freedom, not freedom to do wrong, but freedom to love and serve each other. For the whole Law can be summed up in this one command: love one another as you love yourself. I advise you to obey the Holy Spirit operating within you. He will be your conscience, telling you where to go and what to do.

When we allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives, that Spirit will produce within us these special fruits: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. Those who belong to Christ have nailed their evil desires to his cross and crucified them there. If we are to live now in the strength of the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's lead in every part of our lives.

Share each other's troubles and problems, and so obey our Lord's command. Let each of you be sure to do your best, for then you will have the personal satisfaction of a work well done and a life well spent. Do not get tired of doing what is right; for after a while we will reap a harvest of gracious blessings so long as we don't get discouraged and give up the effort.

May God's mercy and peace be upon you who live by your Spirit-driven conscience.

Dear brother and sister, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you in the married life you begin this moment. AMEN!

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