People have long recognized that the books of the Old Testament have different styles. Usually, they are put in one of three categories: historical books, like Genesis and Exodus, which present a narrative story; prophetic books, like Isaiah and Jeremiah, which record the teaching of the prophets; and the wisdom books, like Proverbs and the book of Wisdom, which contain instructions on how one should live. These categories indicate general tendencies, not hard and fast rules. In other words, you will still find prophetic teaching and moral exhortations in the historical books of the Old Testament. The New Testament books don’t quite fit the same categories. Nevertheless, the book of James (from which today’s second reading is taken) is a type of wisdom book. James contains a great deal of moral instruction. In today’s reading St. James reminds us of the connection between unrighteousness (jealousy and selfish ambition) and disorder and foul practices. And on the other hand, he notes the natural connection of righteous living and peace. While it is true that our Christian faith is not simply a set of moral laws, living a morally upright life is a necessary element. The happiness of a society (the family, town, state, nation) depends upon its people being formed by solid moral instruction. We have ample evidence in our society (and in our own families!) of the profound negative effects which occur when we disregard God’s moral law. We receive this instruction through God’s Word found in the Sacred Scriptures and through His Church. Why not take some time today and read the entire Letter of St. James? It’s not that long, and it contains great wisdom.
My thanks to Fr. Levi Schmitt for celebrating last Sunday’s Masses. I had what I thought was a bad cold, but ‘sat out’ the weekend awaiting the results of a covid test. It was negative. Just a bad cold.
You will find with this bulletin our annual Financial Report to the parish for the fiscal year which concluded on June 30, 2021. I have scheduled a parish “Town Hall Meeting” at 6:30pm this Thursday, September 23, 2021, in the Church hall basement). This provides a good forum to discuss our parish’s finances, as well as any pastoral issues. All parishioners are invited to attend.
May God bless you!