Today's passage from Isaiah challenges us to "put up or shut up," as the saying goes. Here we see a picture of what well-rounded, holistic faith looks like in action:
Isn’t this the fast I choose:
To break the chains of wickedness,
to untie the ropes of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free,
and to tear off every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
to clothe the naked when you see him,
and not to ignore your own flesh and blood? (Isaiah 58.6-7, CSB)
By our own natural tendencies, many of tend toward a faith that is either cerebral or activist, pensive or active, focused on right thinking or focused on right doing...but Isaiah will have none of it. Along with St. James (especially) in the New Testament, he holds together proper beliefs (orthodoxy) and proper practices (orthopraxy) in ways that make us uncomfortable. Usually, we are comfortable with either our orthodoxy OR our orthopraxy, tending to emphasize the one and minimize the other. A true, living faith, however, maintains both in an elegant dance of thoughts and deeds that encompass our entire beings and lives.
As St. Cyril of Alexandria writes, "Love is the fulfillment of the law, as it stands written. For the fulfilling of love toward brothers and compassion are the marks of a reward with God. Seeing how to abstain from evil and doing good are not the same thing. For it does not suffice for glory with God to flee evil but to try in all ways to meet needs and do good works and hold fast to diligence in godliness...But the perfect fulfillment of all goodness in the oracles is kept through Christ, through which we learn to fulfill those works of love toward God and our fellows" (Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Isaiah).