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Friday, May 16, 2008

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James 2:14-24, 26
Psalm 112
Mark 8:34—9:1

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faith works

"What good is it to profess faith without practicing it?" —James 2:14

We are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8). Therefore, we must have faith and know what true faith is. Faith must be practiced (Jas 2:14, 17). It must be accompanied by works (Jas 2:18, 26). Faith underlies (Jas 2:18) and assists works (Jas 2:22). Faith is implemented by works (Jas 2:22). We are justified by both faith and works (Jas 2:24).

Pope John Paul II taught: "It is urgent to rediscover and to set forth once more the authentic reality of the Christian faith, which is not simply a set of propositions to be accepted with intellectual assent. Rather, faith is a lived knowledge of Christ, a living remembrance of His commandments, and a truth to be lived out (the Pope's italics). A word, in any event, is not truly received until it passes into action, until it is put into practice. Faith is a decision involving one's whole existence. It is an encounter, a dialogue, a communion of love and of life between the believer and Jesus Christ, the Way, and the Truth, and the Life (cf Jn 14:6). It entails an act of trusting abandonment to Christ, which enables us to live as He lived (cf Gal 2:20), in profound love of God and of our brothers and sisters" (The Splendor of Truth, 88).

Rediscover the reality of faith in Christ. Pray: Lord, "increase our faith" (Lk 17:5).

Prayer:  Father, may my reception of Your word at Mass and through One Bread, One Body improve my spiritual hearing and deepen my faith in You (Rm 10:17).

Promise:  "Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it." —Mk 8:35, our transl.

Praise:  When assailed by life's difficulties Laura often prays, "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!" (see Mk 9:24)

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Hold Fast to The Faith on AV 71-1 or video V-71.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 23, 2007

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