“ Faith Without Good Works Is Dead” ( James 12:17)
True Christian religion is not just a matter of attending liturgical celebrations be they grand or ordinary, nor is it simply hearing good sermons or reading spiritually rich materials. It is when we live and concretize what we believe and celebrate in the church. It is when we honestly live and practice what we feel or hear in our religious celebrations. Someone said, “ My friend, you are talking too loud that I cannot hear what you are saying”.
We sometimes spend a lot of time beautifying ourselves for a presentable physical appearance, meticulously matching the colors and styles of our haberdashery, making sure that we look nice and cute not acute. Trying to build up and enhance a pleasing personality is wonderful as long as we don’t neglect the more important aspects which are the internal moral values turned into loving and serving our neighbor especially the “have nots”. Faith is seeing God in everyone, it must be actualized and reflected in our good deeds. St. James tells us to be doers of the Word of God not hearers. “ You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works”. “ Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar. You see that faith was completed by the works ”. “ See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” “ For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead”. (James 2:-18-26).
If we can only realize the spiritual wealth and nourishment we get and experience when we attend the Mass, for sure we’ll feel that our day won’t be complete without it. In a special way God speaks to us through the readings, the Gospel and the homily at Mass. In fact the Word is God that we listen to and therefore let us open our hearts and minds to receive Him inside us. But there is more to just listening, we must become what we hear and what we receive in the Holy Eucharist.
The mirror shows us the dirt and stain in our faces and so is the word of God exposing the condition of our soul. A responsible and smart person will not lose time to wash the face in order to look clean and presentable. Merely hearing or reading the Sacred Scriptures does not necessarily make one holy but practicing it helps one improve spiritual life. Professing our faith out loud in words and songs won’t do much progress in our search for holiness unless we apply what we profess in terms of love, mercy and service of our neighbor. Otherwise, we only honor God with our lips, but our hearts are far from Him. “
On the flip side, someone said that faith is seeing light with your heart when all your eyes see is darkness. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try to be good, other people will always see your flaws. Just remind yourself that you don’t live to please people, but to please God and feel in peace with yourself, and prayer is the best way to draw strength from heaven. God does not call those who are equipped, He equips those He has called. Amen on that folks!
In her Diary entry no. 532, St. Faustina wrote Jesus words; “ I find pleasure, not in large buildings and magnificent structures, but in a pure and humble heart”.
Pray the Divine Mercy every 3 p.m. Daily recite the Chaplet of Mercy for peace in the world and conversion of sinners.
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