In the “truth” . . .

How can you tell that someone is in the “truth”?

For St. James, a state of heart which opposes another is “lying against the truth” (3:14). A person of truth is one who contains others within himself.

To have the law “in your heart” means nothing more than to contain your brother within you. For James, the law and the brother are one: “Whoever speaks evil against another or judges another, speaks evil against the law and judges the law” (4:11). When the law gets separated from the people, when it rises above them so that it enslaves them, or below them so that they trample it, it’s dehumanized. The law is there to humanize the other in my eyes, to make me contain the other within me.

Sickness, like sin, removes a person from me. It isolates a person from the body so the elders must work to reintegrate him back in our midst (5:14-15). Sin isolates a person from the body so you must “return” him to yourselves, to the truth (5:19-20). Sin fragments the body so confession is the balm to keep it together (5:16), to keep me living in others and others in me.

When we live IN each other, the law dwells in our midst.

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