Wednesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
(James 1:19-27; Mark 8:22-26)
Our mothers used to chide us that what they said to us “goes in one ear and out the other.” In other words, we did not pay attention to what they were saying. We did what we wanted and ignored what they were telling us. This is the gist of what James’ warning in today’s first reading.
James uses a parable to explain what he means. He says that hearers and not doers of the word are like those who look at their faces in a mirror and then go off. Because they do not keep the mirror before their faces, they forget what they look like. In the same way those who only listen to the word of God promptly forget it. But those who practice it will not only remember it but live and profit by it.
The Letter of James contains practical advice. Sometimes it is considered more a Jewish than a Christian Scripture. However, the advice obviously reflects Christ’s teaching. We do well to hold it regularly “before our faces.”