Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.
Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this:
to care for orphans and widows in their affliction
and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (Jas 1:21b-22,27)
One of the biggest problems, in my humble opinion, is that too many “believers” really do not live their faith. Instead, they wait for other people to get the work done.
Every Church seems to have that problem. It may have many members; but, most of the members wait for a select few to actually do the work of the Gospel.
James, in today’s second reading, is reminding us all that we must be doers of the Word and not just hearers.
In other words, we must do more than come to church on Sunday, warm up the pew for a little bit with our body heat, and then go home again acting as if nothing was handed to us. To do that, we truly do delude ourselves.
We must welcome the Word, humbly, into our hearts, ruminate upon it, and then live it out. When we do so in faithful service to God’s people, we are “getting the job done.”
Not doing that, we are sealing our own fate. I remember the Sisters teaching us an old rhyme that comes back to me quite often: “Faithful Freddie” thought he’d get to heaven by going to church on Sunday. But, “Faithful Freddie” went to hell for what he did on Monday.
We cannot just say we believe. We must live our faith.
The best way to live that faith is to take care of God’s poor and needy.
FAITH ACTION: Volunteer some of your time to help a local food pantry or St. Vincent de Paul organization. If you cannot find the time to volunteer, at least bring in a contribution of canned goods to help feed the poor and needy.