Faith Without Works is Dead

Reflection for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time by Sr. Maryann Mueller, CSSF
This reflection was originally posted in our September 7th newsletter.

When Gandhi wrote his autobiography in 1947, he titled the book The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Gandhi described his “experiments” in the practice of nonviolence and in the practice of simple living, which helped lead him to Truth and to God. Love for another person, for God and for the pursuit of Truth is lived out in action.

The reading from Saint James this Sunday outlines practices to help us live our faith and our love for God. The good works we do demonstrate our beliefs. “I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.” (James 2:18) Faith is more than religious rituals, prayers, and liturgy. James tells us that faith without good works is dead. Saint Francis is often attributed with echoing this same message with the words: “Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.”

Saint Peter was able to reply to Jesus’ question “Who do you say that I am” (MK. 8:29) by accompanying Jesus and observing the works of Jesus. Witnessing how He acted in love with those he encountered convinced Peter to respond, “You are the Christ.” (MK. 8:30)

Many of us may look upon human trafficking as something that others may participate in. We may consider ourselves personally not complicit. Yet labor trafficking is entrenched as part of all our lives. As consumers of food, coffee, clothing, shoes, electronics and many other products, our lives are inextricably entwined with the 14.2 million children, women and men who are trapped in modern day slavery. If you ate breakfast this morning, your life has been touched by a child, woman or man who was coerced or deceived, somewhere in the supply chain, to help bring what you ate for breakfast to the table.

Several weeks ago, Representatives Carolyn Maloney (NY) and Chris Smith (NJ) introduced the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015. This bill is similar to legislation already enacted in the State of California. The bill (H.R.3226) will require companies with over $100 million in global receipts to publicly disclose measures to prevent human trafficking, slavery and child labor in their supply chains. This legislation will call attention to labor trafficking in the business sector.

Most importantly, it will also serve to increase awareness among all of us as consumers to “realize that purchasing is always a moral-and not simply economic-act.” Let us “demonstrate our faith” by using our purchasing power to ensure that each child, woman and man who provides us with the consumer goods we enjoy is treated with human dignity. Please click here to send an email to your legislator and ask him or her to co-sponsor and support H.R. 3226. While on this website, please check other legislation that will help strengthen the human trafficking laws in our country.

“It is good for people to realize that purchasing is always a moral – and not simply economic – act. Hence the consumer has a specific social responsibility which goes hand-in-hand with the social responsibility of the enterprise. Consumers should be continually educated regarding their daily role, which can be exercised with respect for moral principles without diminishing the intrinsic economic rationality of the act of purchasing…” (Caritas in Veritate, 66).

Sr. Maryann Mueller, CSSF
FAN Board of Directors

Published in: on September 8, 2015 at 9:03 am  Leave a Comment  

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