First Reading: James 2:14-24 Reflection
James tells us that ‘faith without works is dead.’ For James our faith must lead to practical work and have an effect on us and the people around us. Some say that this is because Catholics do not believe that Jesus has saved them and that they have to work their way into heaven; they are wrong.
Jesus has saved us, once and for all by his death on the cross. The response to faith in this saving act is good works. In redemption we have received the great gift from God of eternal life and the natural response to the love of God is to go out and love our neighbour.
Saying that we are saved and can leave it at that is not a genuine response to the love of God. If your wife said she loved you but would not prepare lunch for you, you could easily say that her love for you was dead.
Love shows itself in action, it compels the one who loves to do something for the good of the other...with nothing expected in return.
God is the perfect example of this for in his nature he is ‘pure act,’ there is nothing in him that is resting. Jesus did not come to earth and say ‘I love you, but now I am going to rest in that love.’
No, he went about showing his love by miracles, preaching and dying: he knew that faith without works is dead.