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One Bread, One Body

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All Issues > Volume 24, Issue 3


<< Monday, May 12, 2008 >> Sts. Nereus & Achilleus
St. Pancras

 
James 1:1-11
View Readings
Psalm 119:67-68, 71-72, 75-76 Mark 8:11-13
Similar Reflections
 

DYSFUNCTIONAL?

 
"To the twelve tribes in the dispersion, James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, sends greeting." —James 1:1
 

The book of James is written to the twelve tribes in the dispersion. This refers to the Jewish people scattered throughout the world because of oppression and to the Christians scattered because of persecution. The term "dispersion" implies violence, brokenness, pain, isolation, and the breakdown of community. The conditions of "the dispersion" would be described today as "dysfunctional." We could even say that the book of James is written to those living in dysfunctional situations.

The first thing James has to say to the dispersed and/or dysfunctional is: "Count it pure joy when you are involved in every sort of trial" (Jas 1:2). When those in a dysfunctional environment decide to throw a "pity-party" and give in to self-pity, they become even more dysfunctional. Instead, if we rejoice in the Lord, even in our trials (see Phil 4:4), He will turn them to the good (see Rm 8:28). Our trials will not destroy us, but lead us to maturity and holiness (see Jas 1:4; 1 Cor 10:13).

Read the book of James while asking for wisdom (see Jas 1:5) about how to deal with a dysfunctional situation. You will see the light, be filled with hope, and be empowered for action.

 
Prayer: Father, because of sin I live in a dysfunctional world. By Your salvation, I am made whole. I rejoice in You!
Promise: "Let Your kindness comfort me according to Your promise to Your servants." —Ps 119:76
Praise: St. Pancras suffered the loss of his parents, then at age fourteen suffered the loss of his life for love of God.
 
(For a related teaching on The Book of James, order our audio tape, a verse by verse teaching on the New Testament, #734.)
 
 
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from April 1, 2008 through May 31, 2008.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 23, 2007.
 
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
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