Daily Mass Reflections - 5/21
“The fruit of righteousness is sewn in peace for those who cultivate peace”.
in today’s 1st Reading (James 3:13-18) the prophet James seeks to define, as Psalm 19 proclaims, the precepts of the Lord which in fact bring joy to the heart. It is here where James disseminates between that which is of humanity and that which is divine.
He begins with a very frank discussion about the virtue of wisdom. There are many who believe that wisdom is amongst God’s greatest gifts. Your author would be included among those who subscribe to that belief. The mere mention of the word “wisdom” typically illicits positive thoughts. After all, wisdom is that which should be pursued, accumulated and of course shared. But James warns of a wisdom that is not of the divine, instead being rooted in the vices of jealously, selfishness, or perhaps even misguided ambition.
He encourages us to seek only the wisdom and understanding that originates from above, and in doing so we will cultivate a heart that is instead filled with a purity and generosity, a heart that mirrors and emulates his friend Jesus’ heart, that which every Christian aspires to or should.
When we look for ways to garner these virtues, the virtues of gentleness, peace, mercy and compassion, we need not look any further than the gift of the Holy Spirit, which was poured out or “breathed into” the world on the Pentecost, which we celebrated yesterday.
We can also look to our Blessed Mother, who we commemorate today in this the maiden observance and celebration of the Feast of Mary Blessed Mother of our Church.
Last year, Pope Francis called for this Memorial to be celebrated on the Monday following Pentecost. We essentially celebrate the Mother of our Church the day after the Birthday of our Church, an act of wisdom in its own right on behalf of our Holy Father, another man we can look to as we seek to cultivate divine wisdom in our lives.
As James concludes in this powerful passage, the fruit of righteousness can only be sewn within a heart that is rooted in the truth of God’s grace and peace.
Be sure to check in tomorrow as we dig deeper into the Book of James, a passionate and at times very blunt disciple of God who sought to teach the unchanging and everlasting message of truth and wisdom as taught to him by his friend, the word made flesh, Jesus.