By Reagan Franklin
Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer. ~ James 1:19-27
My family was set on fire for the faith by the Holy Spirit through the pastor of the church we’d just begun attending, Monsignor Diez. His catchphrase is “fuego fuego,” wanting everyone he encountered to be filled with the FIRE of the Lord. Like so many people, we had come back to church because it was time for our children to receive their first communion. Father Diez knocked on our door one evening—we were scared to answer, a priest had never come by the house before! He was there to welcome and encourage us and get us involved in ministry. I said something akin to “do we have to…” and he replied with a smile, “no dear, you get to. Serving the Lord glorifies Him! Be doers of the word, not just hearers.”
Those early days of our waking up to the faith were filled with learning and serving –singing in the choir, lecturing, Eucharistic ministering, pro-life ministry, rosary groups, bible studies, fundraisers, and more—phew, we did it all! The friends we made, the fellowship we shared, the diversity of the community we were part of, the beauty we discovered, and the fullness of our hearts were all beyond compare.
Over the years, our beloved Monsignor has retired, the kids have grown up, and we’ve slowed down some, but our commitment to serving the Lord remains. Today’s first reading is from James 1, including verse 22, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers.” The day Fr. Diez came knocking; I didn’t even know that was from scripture! Now I realize it wasn’t just the priest knocking at the door, but Jesus knocking on the door of our hearts. How different and full life is for us now. I’m so glad we answered.
Lord, we praise you and glorify you in all ways. We hear you calling us; please reveal how we can serve you. Fill us with your fire that we can be like the apostles on Pentecost, ready to glorify you through action!
Call to Action
The Lord doesn’t want us to be passive with our faith. He gave us gifts to use and called us to discover how to use them to serve His people. Everyone is unique and will be “doers of the word” differently. How is He calling you? What word do you hear that draws you into action? Consider how you can serve, in your family, at your parish, or in your community.
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