Page 26 - Feb2012

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James 1:1-11
Psalm 119:67, 68, 71, 72, 75, 76
Mark 8:11-13
James reminds us that trials, when faced with faith, can bring great joy. God
waits for us to seek his wisdom in times of testing, and will grant knowledge to
those who turn to him with an unconflicted heart. Faith tempered by the fire of
tribulation is far stronger than untested faith, and brings far greater joy.
As human beings, we are forever searching for that which is easy and comfort-
able. We live our lives in avoidance of difficulties, and we are disinclined to view
a hardship as something for which to be grateful. It is in the understanding of
this very human condition that James wrote this letter to the twelve tribes.
In the first reading, James exhorts the followers of Jesus to embrace trials and
testing, for paradoxically, they are what bring us joy. However, this joy can only
come after we have willingly shouldered the burden of adversity and responded
with faith. Because we are frail and imperfect, we are not expected to know in-
stinctively how to respond to every situation that faces us. Instead, James urges
us to consult God in
times of need, but
only if we can do so
with a fully faithful
heart. To be "of two
minds" is to cloud
reasoning; only by
being unreservedly
open to God's direc-
tion can we be sure
to hear His voice