Doing good and being good are the keys for a truly Christian life
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (September 2, 2018): DT 4:1-2,6-8; PS 15:2-3,3-4,4-5; JAS 1:17-18,21-22,27; MK 7-1-8, 14-15, 21-23
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
The gift of faith, like all good gifts, comes from God Himself.
We need to embrace His truth with humility and allow it to change us and, ultimately, save our souls. In the letter from James written to both Jewish and Gentile converts to the Christian way of life, he urged them not to settle for listening to the message of Jesus and saying they believe. They – and we – need to let the Good News lead the faithful ever closer to Him. “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” (James 1:22, 27). Christ expects far more of us than casual acceptance of His word.
Our Savior died for our sake. We must let Him to fill our lives and to show us how to return His love with loyalty. And we need to care for our neighbors as He did. As followers of Christ we owe a debt to all His cherished people, especially those with the greatest burdens. Every thought, word or action of ours should reflect the joyful truth that we are made for life everlasting with the God who created us and sent His Son to bring us home to Him. But first, we need to let other people see His compassion in us.
Suggested missionary action: Let us think about how we can be better “doers of the word.” We need to think about how we extend ourselves for others today – and ask ourselves what else we can do to help our neighbors in need tomorrow.