August 30, 2015: Hearers and Doers
For the next several weeks we will hear from the letter of St. James during the Sunday Eucharist. This letter is very practical and straightforward: "Be doers of the word and not hearers only." A fruitful spiritual exercise sometime this month would be to read the entire letter at one sitting to get the whole flavor of this important Biblical text.
Today's reading points out the origin of our good works: "Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls." It all begins with our willingness to let God's Word take root in us and to live in us. That is the hearing part.
Then comes the doing part. The letter of James today elaborates on how our care for the most vulnerable serves as the measuring rod for how well we are putting into action the saving word that we hear. It is not enough to experience love within our hearts. Love must find expression in our behavior, in real loving actions toward the least of our sisters and brothers.
What helps you to hear and welcome the Word of God? What helps you to put that Word into action? How do you know when you are doing God's Word?