This Sunday's second reading was such an intimate one. So much of the imagery from the first chapter of James is spousal imagery. It awakens in our hearts that longing for communion, for union with Another.
"Dearest brothers and sisters: All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls."
- James 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27
Amazing! The God Who made the world descends, stoops low, pours out, gives Himself, sows the seed of His Love deep in the soil of our hearts. The Greek word for this is kenosis, to empty oneself. What a miracle of Love that the God of the universe would do this! And yet when we search our hearts we discover that this is the very definition of Love. We have a glimmer of this word kenosis, it exists in our own families. It is not something distant from us, we echo it in our own relationships; we pour out our time and affection, we stoop down in service, and for those often times whom we may never meet, we give and we suffer.
The grace and the power we have to do this, even if we know it not, flows from God. He is the true source of all our loves. He is the One in Whose light all earthly love finds its true meaning and direction.
Humbly welcome this Word, the letter of St. James says. There in the dark interior of our souls, the seed breaks and germinates. New life, so often unseen, begins to grow. What an intimate bond God has formed with us. He doesn't want to remain so removed from us that we don't know His Name, or recognize His Presence. He plants Himself right here in our hearts and souls... Through the Eucharist He comes into our very bodies! What a harvest we can reap if we are attentive to grace, if we humbly welcome, if we water the seed through stillness and prayer, reading and good works. What abundant fruit will grow and what a gift we can give back to Him!
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