Let Your Actions Speak

When I read daily Mass readings, I don’t usually think of a Second Reading that would have fit nicely, I just reflect on those readings. Today, though, I was reminded of James 2:14-26 and its discussion of how faith is manifested through works, and faith without works is dead.

Each of the readings today emphasizes that, for better or for worse, our actions speak louder than our words. We don’t necessarily need to talk about our faith if our actions shout it out. As Jesus said in John 13:35, “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Love is shown in actions, not in words. In the Psalm, much of the description of praising God is in actions like singing and dancing. Of course we are called to use words, too, but not solely.

The Gospel, on the other hand, focuses on the inverse. That when our words are holy but our actions are not, we inflict pain on God, our neighbors, and ourselves. We might think we are doing God’s will when we “talk a good game” without actually acting out our faith in service to God and others with Joy and Charity, but we are only bringing sadness and woe to everyone involved, in the long run.

In these readings, I see a call to two things: first, to show my faith in acts of service for the love of God and neighbor, done not grudgingly, but with generosity and joy. Second, to examine my conscience to see if my words and public deeds are matching my private deeds and what is in my heart. If we do these two things, I can’t help but think that the Lord will delight in us and our efforts.

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J.M. Pallas has had a lifelong love of Scriptures. When she is not busy with her vocation as a wife and mother to her “1 Samuel 1” son, or her vocation as a public health educator, you may find her at her parish women’s bible study, affectionately known as “The Bible Chicks.”

Feature Image Credit: Peggy_Marco, https://pixabay.com/illustrations/climb-help-the-robber-s-head-head-3973974/