Week 6 of Ordinary Time
Feb. 18, 2020James 1: 12-18
Provincial House, New Rochelle, N.Y.
Yesterday we changed channels, from the Hebrew royal network of David, Solomon, and their successors to the New Israel network on which St. James addresses “the 12 tribes” of dispersed Christians (1:1) across the Roman Empire.
His 1st concern is with how we handle life’s trials (1:2). Perhaps he’s referring the harassment and persecution that were constants in the life of the 1st-century Church. Certainly he refers to the common trials of everyday life that we’re all acquainted with.
Today’s reading sums all that up with the assurance that whoever perseveres in his faith in Christ will attain a divine reward (1:12)—an assurance we need as much as James’s original readers.
|The 7 Deadly Sins (Bosch)|
Then James shifts his thought from trial to temptation—which, also, we’re all familiar with. Maybe some Christians blamed God for their temptations, or just blamed God for allowing temptations to afflict them (1:13). Not so, James insists. No, our temptations come from within, from our own desires (1:14). Those 7 capital sins will always be lurking about, trying to snare us and “bring forth sin” (1:15). But, James tells us, God’s good gifts—grace and truth and mercy—are always at hand, that we might be the 1st proofs of the new creation (1:17-18), in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus.