Posted by: livingscripture | February 17, 2012

Sixth Friday of Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  Can faith save him?  If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?’.”

                                               James 2: 14-16                                                                                              

How should we live this Word 

James words seem to contradict what Paul says in his Letter to the Romans. Paul affirms that faith saves us; the realization of what Jesus announced, worked, and revealed to us, in the power that He gives us.  Thus, it is not through our own efforts or power.  God lifts us up on ‘eagle’s wings.’  God, in Jesus Christ, Light of the world, enables us to accomplish what He told His disciples, ‘you are the light of the world.’

According to James, instead, works save.  Is there a contradiction here?  Not at all! James is giving us a clarification.  It has happened over the centuries that apparently fervent Christians, present at all worship moments, religious people, able to announce the Gospel, are closed in on themselves and very avaricious of wealth and comforts.  There are Christians who think they are ‘in place’ because they observe religious practices.

We need to see the precious connection between the words of Paul and those of James.  ‘In Jesus neither circumcision nor non-circumcision (ritualism) count, but faith that works through acts of charity.’  (Galatians 5: 6)  Operative love is the breath, the vital life of faith.  Without it, my faith is useless.

Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will reflect on the connection between faith and works and I will examine my faith life in relation to my charitable activity.

Spirit of God, infuse Your love in me so that my believing may be alive and operative.  Grant that my worship may become generous and honest service. 

The voice of Simone Weil, Contemporary Mystic

“You don’t concern me.”  This is an expression that one person cannot address to another without committing cruelty and wounding justice.  There is something sacred in every person.

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