We need to appreciate the truth that without works faith in Christ is dead
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (September 16, 2018): IS 50:5-9; PS 116:1-2,3-4,5-6,8-9; JAS 2:14-18; MK 8:27-35
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.
In the readings for this Sunday, we learn that suffering is part of human life and that our Savior will sacrifice Himself for our good.
We must be willing to use our own pain and hardship to grow closer to Jesus as we follow in His footsteps. Moreover, a vital part of our belief in Him means reaching out to relieve the physical and spiritual burdens of our brothers and sisters. In his epistle, James tries to help early Christians understand how faith in our Lord is united to our service to others. “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? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:15-17).
Faith is not merely agreeing with a checklist of commandments or the points of a certain creed. Recognizing Jesus as the Son of God, the one who redeemed the world from sin and death is only the beginning. We need to be ready to offer our lives to all we meet in generous imitation of His mercy – and to patiently accept our own troubles through God’s grace. Living our faith calls for courage and dedication to the will of our loving Lord.
Suggested missionary action: We can express our faith this week by helping out at our parish or other local organization to offer food, clothing or shelter to those in need. Then let us make this service a regular practice.