Doers, not just listeners

|September 01,2018 - 08:34 PM

We do talk a lot. Endlessly we discuss. Every now and then, if not always, we criticize. We make a lot of noise by and through our commentary gossips. We even offer unsolicited advice.

Most of us are even noisy in our silence.

But do we care to listen? Do we do something instead of just reacting verbally?

There is one significant and challenging verse from today’s Second Reading (Letter of James 1:17-18,21-22,27) that would surely hit the nail’s head of this observation and affair: “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves” (v22).

It is indeed crucial in whatever scenario we are in to make sense not only in what we believe, in the same way with what we say, but most importantly in what we do and how we live our lives based on our convictions no matter what.

Thus, listening makes a real difference in any given situation.

Yet there is another case most crucial than not heeding at all. It is when we just pretend to listen. Thus, we have to be very careful about this careless attitude.

However, even if careful hearing and understanding may always be ideal, it remains just a desirable good until it is acted upon, and becomes a virtuous exercise and a living example.

What we demonstrate based on what is understood becomes weightier. And the sense it brings becomes a more powerful execution not only as a proof that we really have understood, but in itself becomes a manifestation and an attestation to the Truth that liberates.

For when we translate into action the sense and message of the word, it becomes an enduring witness to the power of the Word — to the Truth, the Good, and the Beautiful.

Yes, it is true that words are powerful. But they totally unleash their force only until they are carried out in deeds and acts of goodness, kindness, generosity, justice and peace. Otherwise they just remain impatient rumblings and strenuous plans and desires.

There is, however, a negative side to these — when evil plans take shape in the attitudes and behavior of men and women whose determination turns the goodness into wickedness yielding destruction, kindness into cruelty, generosity into selfishness, justice into inequity and inequality, peace into chaos.

That is why we have to be very careful, attentive and discerning in making sense to what we strongly believe, in carefully expressing the desires of our hearts through words that are appropriate and apt, and wholeheartedly executing our words into righteous deeds of expression with lasting good impressions for a lifetime remembrance and emulation.

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