James 2: 14-26 (day one of two, on Faith V. Works)
How to do Lectio Devina:
Sisters, this is really your time with the Lord. This will be a challenge but so fruitful. There will also be a short reflection. Give this a chance and see where the Lord takes you.
There are a couple of different ways to do this but there is one way that I will point out. This is a simple way to pray. A great resource here is your prayer journal.
1: Read the whole Scripture: James 2: 14-16
2: Reflect on it for a short time (3 min or more) and see if any particular verse stands out to you.
3: Read the verse that stood out to you again.
4: Reflect on it and see if a particular word stands out to you (3 min or more)
5: Reflect on the word and see what the Lord is trying to point out to you.
You can go back and read any verses that you stood out to you and just spend a short time in prayer (silence) and listening to what God wants to point out to you. God will show up. He always does.
Today I’m stuck on the word faith. What is faith? In the catechism it says,
“Faith is a personal adherence of the whole man to God who reveals himself. It involves an assent of the intellect and will to the self-revelation God has made through his deeds and words.” (CCC #176) (read this twice and slowly the second time)
“To believe” has thus a twofold reference: to the person and to the truth: to the truth, by trust in the person who bears witness to it.” (CCC #177)
Faith is associated with action! Someone doesn’t just have faith. There is something more associated with this belief. Some kind of conversion we went through or are still going through to have this faith in God. Why? Because God is revealing to us his love and truth. That is an action! His revealing and us opening ourselves to this truth is also an action! When we do open ourselves up, there is a conviction. A conviction to turn (action) from our old ways of who we were and become who we are mean to be in Christ Jesus! How does this happen? Well there’s a person called the Holy Spirit who is constantly at work in us.
“We guard with care the faith that we have received from the Church, for without ceasing, under the action of God’s Spirit, this deposit of great price, as if in an excellent vessel, is constantly being renewed and causes the very vessel that contains it to be renewed.” (CCC #175)
We are that vessel that is constantly being renewed. We don’t get renewed on our own. There is an action associated with it. Being renewed means being changed for the better. It also means growing in this love for Jesus and for our neighbor because he is in them too!
“You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” (James 2:24, italicization added) Because faith alone goes nowhere. It’s stagnant. When something is just there and is stagnant there is no life in it. “…so faith apart from works is dead.”
We can’t have faith without works because faith by itself is an action! Faith and works go hand in hand.
Sisters, lets think of the faith the Lord has given us and remember how we came to know him. He is our light and we are on this faith journey with him. Let’s not be stagnant but let the Lord re-ignite our faith to continue this journey in life he has called us to.
Remember, You are loved!