February 18, 2022

. . . faith without works is dead.

Both/and. Disciples and apostles. Contemplation and action. Faith and works.

At times, there is a tendency for each of us to think in dualistic terms. We see life with an either/or lens. It’s one or the other; one aspect is more important than the other, my perspective is right, yours is wrong. At times, we even hear that you are not a true (fill in the blank).

The Eucharist is a sacrament of unity. Among the worshipers, there is always a mix of emphases, priorities, preferences, and opinions. In the Penitential Act, Jesus invites us to see our common bonds: we are saints, we are sinners. In the eucharistic meal, we are invited to join together as the Body of Christ. Both/and.

Near the end of Saint Peter Julian Eymard’s “great” retreat in 1865, he wrote on March 25: But should we not have both contemplatives and apostles . . . both adorers and firebrands since our Lord wants this eucharistic fire to set the world ablaze? Father Eymard spent hours upon hours in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament (adoration). He also spent hours upon hours catechizing young “ragpickers” in the slums of Paris; writing thousands of letters of support and spiritual direction; preached missions and retreats; founded and organized three religious communities (men and women religious and a lay association); and traveled extensively animating these various communities. He was a man of great faith and prayer, and action. Both/and.

Each of us tends to be more reflective and studious or more action-oriented. In our first reading today, James, the leader of the Church of Jerusalem, profoundly challenges us. Yes, spend time growing in your faith. And, do something.

I really need to pray about his words today . . . and, get out there.

Let Us Pray

Gracious God of our ancestors, you led Peter Julian Eymard, like Jacob, on a journey of faith. Under the guidance of your gentle Spirit, Peter Julian discovered the gift of love in the Eucharist, which your son Jesus offered for the hungers of humanity. Grant that we may celebrate this mystery, worthily adore it profoundly, and proclaim it prophetically for your greater glory. Amen.


Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Jim Brown

Jim Brown is an Associate of the Blessed Sacrament. He is the former Director of the Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (CEE) and has worked in a professional capacity for over 30 years with the Congregation. He and his wife live in Cincinnati Ohio.