It’s Not Easy

February 18, 2022
Friday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, James actually made me chuckle out loud! In today’s celebrated passage about faith and works, James – ever direct and uncompromising – really takes it home. Get this verse:

Do you want proof, you ignoramus,
that faith without works is useless?

James 2:20

OK, James! Tell us what you really think!😂

Well, here’s what he really thinks:

For just as a body without a spirit is dead,
so also faith without works is dead.

James 2:26

In our Gospel, Jesus says that living a life of good works is hard. He did it through the Cross and says we must follow his example:

Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the Gospel will save it.

Mark 8:34-35

The Gospel Jesus is talking about, and the “works” James refers to,  are summarized like this:

Corporal Works of Mercy

feed the hungry.
give water to the thirsty.
clothe the naked.
shelter the homeless.
visit the sick.
visit the imprisoned, ransom the captive.
bury the dead.

Spiritual Works of Mercy

instruct the ignorant.
counsel the doubtful.
admonish the sinners.
bear patiently those who wrong us.
forgive offenses.
comfort the afflicted.
pray for the living and the dead.


If we live by these admonitions,
we will find the Cross
– but we will also surely find the Crown.


Poetry: Listen to RS Thomas read his own poem about the struggle to live a Christian life:


Music: Lose My Soul – TobyMac, a multi-award winning Christian hip-hop singer.