The wisdom from above must guide our thoughts, words and deeds
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (September 23, 2018): WIS 2:12,17-20; PS 54: 3-4,5,6,8; JAS 3:16 – 4:3; MK 9:30-37
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 second reading for today, James reproaches the members of the early Christian community who show a real lack of understanding of God’s wisdom.
He points out that our emotions and egos often prompt us to turn away from all that Jesus taught us and, instead, replace God’s will with our own. “Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits without inconstancy or insincerity” (James 3:16-17).
We also need to appreciate that our being self-centered does not just hurt us – it damages our connection with our brothers and sisters in faith, as well as all our neighbors. When we turn away from our Lord, we also turn from the right relationships we should have with those around us. We can never have a strong, mature bond with our Savior if we envy other people, or we let our human aspirations overwhelm our desire to grow spiritually and care for the needs of others. Therein lie the wisdom and truth we must seek for the good of our souls and our world.
Suggested missionary action: We must examine ourselves for jealousy, selfishness and other vices. If we always put ourselves first, we need to reconsider the way we look at life – and the way live it everyday.