Therefore, put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls. James 1:21 NABRE
James writing to the Jews who have accepted Jesus is encouraging them (and us) to change how they live. He writes that temptation comes from our own enticements and when it is avoided we will receive the crown of life. James tells them temptation and evil do not come from God, but all good and every perfect gift comes from God. James exhorts them to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger (see April 14, 2019 reflection.) James also exhorts the reader to put away what is morally sordid. We should be cleansed of body and mind from all vice and immorality. If we do not turn away from evil we cannot do good. We are working toward transformation which is hindered by evil. We should humbly welcome the word of God. Receiving the word of God with humility means we do not rely on our own resources for salvation but know our hope lies in God’s grace. We are called to gratefully open our hearts to the word of God. When we humbly welcome we are acting meekly, as Jesus taught and Jesus lived (the meek inherit the earth – Matthew 5:5.) We are reminded of the parable of the sower (Mark 4:20) where we read the word has been planted in us. The word will be rich in us if we open our hearts to its message. If we are steeped in the word and open to the message our souls will be saved, in other words we will live life eternally.
James’ message is hopeful, but there is still effort to avoid temptation, rely on God for all good and to avoid immorality and vice. Following Jesus requires living clean lives, and working toward knowing the word as we continue on the journey. We move toward transformation which will come with God’s grace.
Do you avoid temptation? Do you welcome the word humbly.If we are steeped in the word and open to the message our souls will be saved, in other words we will live life eternally. Click To Tweet
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