Johan Christoph Weigel
Since last Monday, we have had readings from the Epistle of James at Daily Mass.
I have read the letter before, but not really paid much attention to the substance, or the teaching contained therein. I consider that the hearing of these simple, unpretentious, words, as opposed to solitary reading has intensified the message: Keep your head in.
An oversimplification of course, but during the week or so, that is what I keep hearing.
James is very big on saying and doing:
But be ye doers of the word,To not do what you professes by faith is empty and meaningless.
and not hearers only,
deluding your own selves.
For if any one is a hearer of the word, and not a doer,
he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror:
for he beholdeth himself, and goeth away,
and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
James 1:22-24 RV
Even so faith,It is very practical. There is no mystical theorising like in 1 John; just how to be.
if it have not works,
is dead in itself.
James 2:17 RV
One of the more subtle points James makes concerns future plans. To plan ahead is possibly arrogant:
Go to now, ye that say,After the above reading at Mass today, walking home, I listened to "Open your Eyes" by Asia.
Today or tomorrow we will go into this city, and spend a year there, and trade, and get gain:
whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.
What is your life?
For ye are a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall both live, and do this or that.
But now ye glory in your vauntings:
all such glorying is evil.
James 4:13-14 RV
Open your eyes,A fair enough sentiment I guess, and it fit the reading for the day. At the end of the song, there is an extended ending. Wetton builds a remarkable 4+ part vocal section, Open your eyes.
and see the world
that stands before you
I have often thought of this bit as bashing into my head; Open your eyes. Like Wetton really wants you to.
Today I heard it as seeing the present.