“Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls.”(Js 1:21)

The Word of Life this month comes from a text attributed to the disciple James, who was a prominent figure in the Church in Jerusalem. He exhorted Christians saying there should be coherence between what they believed and what they did. The first paragraph of the letter highlights an essential condition that makes this possible. Christians needed to be free from all wickedness in order to welcome God’s word and be guided by it on the journey toward fulfilling their Christian vocation.

The word of God has a creative power that produces fruits of goodness in both the individual and in the community. It builds relationships founded on love between each of us and God and among us all. James says this word has already been “planted” in us.

“Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls.”

 How can this be? It is surely because, from the very beginning, God stated clearly that humankind was created in his “image.” In fact, every human being is a “you” in relation to God. Every person is called into existence to share in God’s life of love and fellowship.

In addition, for Christians the sacrament of baptism incorporates us into Christ, the word of God who entered into human history.

God has, therefore, sown the seed of his word in every person. This word calls them to do what is good; it calls them to justice, self-giving and fellowship. When the word is welcomed and cultivated in our own “soil,” it produces life and fruit.

“Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls.”

 Our thoughts and feelings will become more like those of Jesus himself. Our faith and hope in God’s love will grow stronger, and we will notice other people’s needs and help them.

Chiara Lubich explained this in 1992: “We saw a profound unity between Jesus’ love for the Father and his love for his brothers and sisters. There was total coherence between his words and his life, and this fascinated and attracted everyone.

“We too should be like him, accepting his words with childlike simplicity and putting them into practice. His words shine out in their purity, strength and completeness. By living them, we become the kind of disciples he wants us to be, disciples who are equal to their teacher, like Jesus spread throughout the world. What greater and more beautiful adventure could there be?” 

Letizia Magri



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