Letter of St. James 1:19-27
Gospel of Mark 8:22-26
I love this Lectio Divina. It’s like eating spiritual bread everyday. Reflecting on Scripture is like the digestion of this bread. It feeds my soul, and my soul will grow in grace.
Today, the Holy Spirit spoke to me through St. James’ letter, “be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. Anger prevents you from doing what is right in the eyes of God. Avoid sin and welcome the word you read in Scripture.” There is so much wisdom in that; if I follow it more often, I would make less mistakes. Every time I’ve been angry at work or angry with my wife, my actions were not the best. I thought I could have “righteous anger.” Maybe if I’m sinless, like Jesus. But, I’m not Jesus. I’m full of sin and I have wounds not fully healed. So, I’m not capable of good acts through righteous anger. I should seek always to be calm, and listen for the Holy Spirit to guide me — especially when I’m angry. I can only be aware of my attachments when I’m not blinded by anger. My anger is usually a sign that I’m attached to something.
The miracle healing in today’s Gospel of Mark is also a good lesson for me: you can see what’s right; so do it. Back when I was an atheist, I decided what was the truth. My measurement for truth was usually what was convenient for me. Just as the blind man did not have eyes to see where he should go, my soul did not have the Holy Spirit to guide me. When Jesus first laid hands on the blind man, the man received partial eyesight. When the priest laid hands on me during my baptism, the eyes of my soul partially opened. Jesus laid his hands on the man a second time, and “his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly.” Each time I receive the Eucharist, each time I go to confession, each time I reflect on Scripture, the Holy Spirit is laying his hands on my soul and my eyes open up a bit more. [My spiritual blindness is a difficult one to cure, apparently.]
Now that I can see more of what’s right through what the Holy Spirit teaches me and what God teaches me through the Church, I’m obligated to act. This ties back to the first reading, today: “be doers of the word, not hearers only.” St. James immediately lists three things I can do, (1) hold my tongue, (2) care for orphans and widows, and (3) keep myself unstained by the world. I’m working on #1 and #3, but I need to start on #2.