Dr. Jereesh John,
St. Thomas MTC, New York
27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world”
The word piety comes from the Latin word 'pietas', the noun form of the adjective pius (which means "devout" or "dutiful"). Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man with pietas respected his responsibilities to God, country, parents, and kin. In its strictest sense it was the sort of love a son ought to have for his father.
In James 1:27, a clear definition for true devotion is mentioned. All our activities should be pure and faultless before God. We should straighten our relationship with Him first and foremost, in other words it is impossible to become a devoted (pietous) Christian without accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior. This should be our starting point. There is a lot of ‘doing’ happening in these days without ‘being’ in His love.
Let us spend some time to evaluate our life in this new year. How much time are we giving to God by visiting those who are in need, especially the widows, the elderly, the sick and the orphans in our Church and community? In the above verse it clearly says to look after them in their distress. As a worshiping community and as devoted (pious) Christians we should do it more and more. Almost all our Churches are filled with organizations (from Sunday school to senior citizens). Let our respective organization make it a habit to serve God in this way. The need is enormous, as families have become more nuclear. Those living alone, especially parents, have increased spiritual and emotional needs. Depression and addictions are more prevalent than we think. Only devoted praying people can fill those needs. It is high time to have an organized approach to meet these needs. May the Lord help us to do this in the coming days. We do not want to hear “depart from me, you who are cursed”. (Matthew 25:41-45)
In the second part of James 1:27, he mentioned about keeping oneself from being polluted from the world. As devoted Christians it is our responsibility to lead a life that is set apart from worldly desires and passions. God is closely watching our personal life, it is very plain and open before Him. As Paul mentioned in 1 Cor 9: 24-27, we should run with an aim and run in such a way as to get the prize.May our life be worthy and acceptable before Him. May we be able to lead a true devoted life in the coming days.
Lord, have mercy on us. Help us to love with actions, rather than with words. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
"Let Christ's love compel us for a true devoted life"