Daily readings and reflections, available at http://www/orthodox.net/scripture These reflections and others are also posted on the blog: http://stnicholasdallas.blogspot.com/ 1 of 2 31st Week After Pentecost v Friday James 2:1-13 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. Mark 10:23-32 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last first. And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him, The Easy way. The Holy Apostle James, Brother of the Lord shows us today the easy way to salvation. His entire and only epistle is filled with authoritative moral admonitions, and we would do well to consider each one carefully. Luther hated the Epistle of James, and wanted it removed from the canon of scripture, because the Apostle's high moral standards seemed onerous and unattainable to him, but he, like so many today, missed the point of the Brother of the Lord. James offers to us two ways: either the way of the Jewish law or the way of the internal law. The teaching of the Jewish law was clear v perfection was required in all things, and as the Apostle said, ?For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.¦ This way of life is clearly impossible, and paradoxically, those who subscribe to it are blinded to their failure because of their adherence to some of the more visible parts of the law. The young ruler, whom we read about yesterday and last Sunday as well was caught in this net of self-deceit. When the Lord reiterated to him a small selection of the commandments, he replied with foolish confidence: ?Master, all these have I observed from my youth¦ (Mark 10:20) Let us contrast this with the Christian law, an internal law, not one externally imposed. We follow the urgings of our heart, in which the Spirit lives. How much more sensible this way of life is! James tells us that is we have ?respect of persons¦, that is favor one man over another, we transgress the law. Our Lord loved all, taught all, even those whom He knew would betray Him.