August 29, 2021
Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Measuring Up
Be doers of the word and not hearers only…
James 1:22

James describes “pure and undefiled” religion in two parts. First, “to care for orphans and widows in their affliction” (verse 27). This part is easy to understand. We just have to ask, who in our society today is defenseless and oppressed? Then we must reach out and care for them in whatever ways we can. The second part of religion is this: “to keep oneself unstained [or unpolluted] by the world.” Theologians say that the word world here does not mean the natural world. Rather, it means a way of living that ignores God, or it is a value system that opposes God.

The world can pollute us by getting us to live a life based on values such as these: Me first!... The purpose of life is to get money, power and fame… Buy, buy, buy… I am not my brother or sister’s keeper. Such values oppose gospel values such as these: Love one another… The purpose of life is service… Deny yourself and follow me… Whatever you did to the least, you did to me. How do I measure up to the kind of religion James describes?

- Sr. Melannie Svoboda, S.N.D.

Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8 • Psalm 15:2-5 James 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27 • Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23


August 30, 2021 at 07:58 AM

Thank you Sr. Melannie for sharing this. It reminds me of a daily inspiration from Mother Theresa that I just read. She said, “The greatest disease in the West today is not tuberculosis or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair and hopelessness is love. There are so many people in the world who are dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more people dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty - it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also a profound spirituality poverty. There a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”

August 29, 2021 at 02:54 PM

Its like a runaway train that has to turn left into the unborn, or right into the afflicted, orphans, widows, the oppressed. Its caring, empathy, a hard choice. Lord Jesus Christ Son of Almighty God have mercy on us.

Gerrie Hensley Respond to comment
August 29, 2021 at 10:56 AM

These devotions & comments are such a wonderful way to begin my day. Please, can we keep politics for another site? Prayers for the living faith family&ones with no one to pray for them.

August 29, 2021 at 08:11 PM

I agree, Gerrie. Peace.

August 29, 2021 at 10:15 AM


August 29, 2021 at 08:56 AM


a God follower Respond to comment
August 29, 2021 at 07:45 AM

To ask ourselves the question in our times... Children marked for abortion from inception to birth. Elderly in nursing homes at the mercy of government and wicked caregivers. Girls, women, and others needing to leave Afghanistan right now. All people everywhere forced to live in/under tyranny.

AZ Nanny of 4
August 29, 2021 at 11:30 AM

Totally agree with AZ Mom and I have written those similar words to our Bishop several times.

August 29, 2021 at 08:52 AM

So true! And we have a totally incompetent man running our country who, though he professes to be Catholic, supports abortion and many other evils that go against the tenets of our faith. I’ll say it again, any politician who supports the destruction of innocent human life, does not care a whit about you and me. Why is that so hard for people to understand?


Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.

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