Wednesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
(James 1:19-27; Mark 8:22-26)
From all the attention given to popular sports, one would think that the United States were a nation of athletes. Of course, the reality is quite different. Americans are notoriously couch potatoes whose use of a swimming pool is largely limited to a site for a party and of a stationary bicycle, to a clothes rack. As Americans should get up to exercise and not just watch sports on television, James admonishes his readers to be doers as well as hearers of the word.
James has a dynamic concept in mind when he compares the hearer who does not act on what he hears to a person who looks into a mirror and then forgets what he sees. As a mirror may point out a milk blotch on one’s upper lip, the word of God indicts one of sin. If the person forgets what she saw in the mirror, the blemish remains. Just so, the hearer who doesn’t act on the word of God will remain lost to salvation.
Life is a process in which we overcome selfish desires to become like God. It takes effort but the Holy Spirit provides us the energy to carry on. Keeping the end in mind – loving, happy people – should give us the incentive needed to complete the course.