Daily Reflection for Friday, February 21, 2020
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: James 2:14-24, 26
Responsorial: Psalm 112:1-6
Gospel: Mark 8:34-9:1
Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
“See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. For just as a body without spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” James 2:24, 26
If you are ever in the mood for a hearty theological debate, take a deep dive into the “faith alone” versus “faith and good works” argument that some scholars and laypeople quibble about. If you want a less “intellectual” debate, there are internet discussions in which people on both sides call each other all sorts of names in an effort to have the last word on the issue.
I am not a theologian or an internet troll, so I’ve never found the debate all that interesting or useful. I prefer to explore how faith and good works affect the way I live my life.
On more than one occasion I’ve set aside time that should have been quiet so I could pray with scripture. Inevitably, just as I settled in, a child burst in with an “emergency” that couldn’t wait, causing me to sharply respond, “Leave me alone! I’m trying to pray!”
I do not think this is what a healthy prayer life looks like, and it certainly isn’t an example I want to set for my family. My effort to strengthen my faith through scripture may be interrupted, but the calling to the good work of being a mom can draw me to God in other ways (when I allow it).
In the past, I have been involved in lobbying for social justice and life issues, ministries at church and in the community, and other “good works” that have the potential to deepen my relationship with God. I’ve cut back on those things for a time because they became draining and a distraction from time I could be praying and recharging myself so my relationships with everyone, including Jesus, do not falter. I’ve let go of good works to increase my faith.
Ultimately, it is a balancing act. Every attempt to strengthen my faith and do good works is better than no effort at all.
Heavenly Father, in my bumbling, fumbling way, I do my best to do good works that will draw me closer in faith to you. There are times I’ve fallen short and far from the mark, but I find comfort in your everlasting presence, love, and faith in me.
May God’s Peace Be With You,