Faith and Good Works

December 5th, 2013  |  Published in Deacon Andy's Blog

Today’s readings are Rom 12:5-16 and MT 7:21,24-27

 Sometimes it is seems like God really wants to drive home a message to us. Last Monday night (2 Dec) I gave a short talk at our “Common Questions and Catholic Answers” meeting on Faith and Good Works.  Today behold, we have one of the scripture passages that  I referenced in that talk, MT 7:21,24:

“Jesus said to his disciples: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

 “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.”

These verses show the link between faith and works.  It has never been the Church’s teaching that we can earn our way into heaven by doing good works.  However this verse along many others in the New Testament, particularly James 2:14-24, point out that our faith is to be lived out in action.  Notice the link between listening to God (faith) and the need to act. A person who claims to have faith, but does not perform good works, would seem to be who Jesus is talking about in the above quote.

So while we are saved by grace, and by the Resurrection of Jesus, unconditional gifts from God; it is also clear that God expects use to use the gift of faith.  Good works might be thought of as a “natural byproduct” of having faith.  They are the manifestation of faith.

It is also clear that we all will undergo a personal judgment from God when we die.  What will we be judged on?  Our actions.  We cannot gain entrance into heaven by our own merit.  But we certainly can lose access to heaven by our own merit; that is called sin.  So let’s all concentrate on living out our faith, putting our faith into action and loving one another as we love ourselves.