Reflecting on James 2:14-18
Nothing makes me laugh harder than being around people who are laughing. Nothing brings me to tears faster than being with someone who is weeping. And nothing stirs my faith like seeing it in action.
It’s that experience of standing during the Communion Procession and listening to people coming forward to receive the Eucharist, singing their hearts out. For me, that says I believe this.
Or, the other day, pondering today’s gospel, I asked a friend, “Who do you say Jesus is?” She looked at me incredulously. He’s my hope. He’s my heart. He’s my Savior. And her beautiful and easy profession of faith said to me she believes this.
But when I observe the endless works of mercy and justice that pour out from the lives of those called by that Name, when I see how compassionately the hungry are fed and the homeless housed by those who love Jesus, I know they believe this.
It seems that every year or so I have a new favorite hymn, a new sacred friend whose lyrics and music bring me deeper into the mystery of God. I find myself hearing it in my head throughout the day, or the lyrics coming to me at odd times.
For several months now I’ve been coming back to Father Pat Dolan’s haunting Prayer of the Body and Blood, which he dedicated to Most Precious Blood parish in Denver. Father Pat has been pastor of this inspiring faith community for eight years now, but the charism of this Denver parish from its earliest beginning (when the Vincentian priests and Daughters of Charity staffed it) until now has always been of intense and intentional service to those who are poor. The song moves the singer (and the hearer) into a deep reflection of the ways in which grace abounds where love abounds.
Some lifelong Catholics have a hard time articulating who Jesus is to them. They don’t have to. As Father Pat wrote, May serving others serve as our belief.
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).