A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
June 30, 2020
Faith and Deeds
September 13, 2018
In the Second Reading this week we hear mentioned in the letter of St. James advice about faith and we recall what we know: Faith is a gift, freely given to each of us by God. We do not earn faith; God gifts us with faith. However, if we accept the gift of faith and if we are prudent in caring for that gift, we engage in meaningful works and deeds that benefit others. To receive the gift of faith and do nothing with it is the equivalent of squandering it. Faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2.16 St. James is calling us to realize we must live our faith with actions and deeds. It reminds me of a very elementary question I have often asked of very young children in religious education classes: “If you knew that Jesus was coming again soon, what would you want him to see you doing?” You can imagine their answers; being nice to others, helping a friend, doing what my mom and dad tell me, etc. Even the very young understand that if we have faith in Jesus, in who he is, we must live our lives loving and caring for others. If we do none of that, the gift we have received has no value and it will die. I am also reminded by this letter of St. James of an anonymous poem I have used often when teaching Catholic Social Justice to Confirmation and R.C.I.A. candidates. I will let it speak for itself: “On the street I saw a small girl cold and shivering in a thin dress, with little hope of a decent meal.
I became angry and said to God: ‘Why don’t you do something about it?’ For a while God said nothing. That night He replied quite suddenly, ‘I certainly did something about it. I made you.” Let us take time this week to reflect upon our good deeds and works of faith. With grateful hearts may our actions make clear to others our deep and living faith in Jesus Christ.