A reading from the Letter of Saint James. (1:17-18,21b-22,27)
Dearest brothers and sisters: All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls.
Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
(I am grateful for all my teachers who taught me to cherish the word within me, who taught me by example how to be doers of the word. For all who gave witness of service to orphans, widows and people in need. For all who remained unstained by the world.)