Together in Spirit

Browsing From the Desk of Fr. Mike

Faith is Action

Sep 4, 2018

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:17

The apostle James will tell us that we need to be doers of the Word and not just hearers. Faith has little to do with knowledge and much to do with action. There are many who think that if they could just go to one more bible study or one more class on the catechism they might finally truly have faith. The problem is that they just keep chasing after knowledge but they never move to action. We can never get enough knowledge about Jesus or the Church to give us any faith. We have knowledge, but little else.

Faith is an action guided by our knowledge. It is a physical manifestation of what we believe and what we embrace. Our first and most regular expression of this takes place on Sundays when we gather to pray and receive the Eucharist. We physically encounter Jesus each time we take communion. It cannot end there, as if the only time we are with him happens in the “box” of our religiosity. James tells us that religion that is pure takes care of orphans and widows. It moves beyond a personal reception of Jesus to becoming Jesus for others. The Church teaches us that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian faith. We are touched by him so that through us he can touch others.

It is good to grow in knowledge especially if it can be applied to real life situations. I know this was one of my guiding principles through my schooling. I would ask the question, “ How does this apply to what I hope to do for the rest of my life?” There were some moments when I questioned whether the knowledge being  passed on to me did make a difference, however, working these past thirty five years I have discovered that most has made a difference as I put it into practice. It was the practice that made the knowledge important, it did not happen the other way around. This is what James is telling us as he explains what religion really is.


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