Thursday 14 March

22But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.

23For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; 24for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like.

I am surrounded by “mirrors.” Every moment of my life, I meet people, situations, sacred texts, or wisdom writings that offer me an opportunity to see who I truly am. When I am unwilling to see my reflection in these “mirrors” and refuse to pay attention to the truth they reflect, I forget my true nature.

When I “forget” myself, I lose touch with the power to become more fully the person I truly am.

At the heart of Christian faith is the call to remember, the call to remember my true identity. I am one in whom dwells “the implanted word.” This is the point of our most oft-repeated ritual, the Eucharist. I take inside myself the “body” and “blood” of Jesus, to remind me that the Presence and Truth of Christ reside within me. I am a vessel of the Spirit, a container of the Divine. But, in order to know the truth I embody, I need to live it.

The reason “The Letter of James” is not in conflict with the rest of the New Testament is that James knew something we forget. James understood that every word of truth is a word of power. When a word is truly heard, it has the power to bring about that which it signifies.

The word that is “implanted” is a powerful agent for transformation. It is intended to cause something to happen in my life.

When I seek to trap the word, capturing it in my brain as if it were an exquisite artifact, nothing more than an intellectual construct to be admired, the word dies and I die with it. But, when I truly hear the word of truth and see myself as I am, my life shifts into line with the word I hear. At the heart of the spiritual life is the call to listen more deeply, allowing what I hear to transform my life.