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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Faith Without Deeds is Useless


Faith without deeds is useless. That is what sacred scripture says. Jesus says the sheep and goats will be separated by their deeds. Those who did good works are the sheep, those who did not do works are the goats (Matthew 25). Looking around the world today there is a lot we can all be doing to help each other in our time of need. Maybe you can't afford to give money to the flood victims in Iowa, but you can pray for them. Maybe you can't rebuild a home to a tornado victim in one of the areas devastated by the recent tornado's in our country, but perhaps you could donate clothing to a charity to help replace what they've lost. Or raise money for the tsunami and earth quake victims in other countries. Donate food to shelters for the homeless. It doesn't take much if we all work together and do what we can. A local radio station in Connecticut is asking every single person to donate just $1 to help others. What a great idea! If everyone gave at least $1 think of all that could do when everyone contributes and we work together for a common good. That is putting our faith to work. That is living our Christian faith. That is what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 25 when He describes the Sheep as those who fed Him when He was hungry and clothed Him when He was naked and gave Him drink when He was thirsty. He said "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me." (Matthew 25:31-46) And in the book of James we see that faith without deeds is no faith at all, it's dead like a corpse. No good to anyone.

James 2:14-26

Faith and Deeds
14 "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. 25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."

So let our faith not be useless. Show compassion on the victims of these tragedies with your good deeds and help in any way you can. We can all pray, and some of us can do more.
To help any of these victims please contact:
Catholic Relief Services
228 W. Lexington St.
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-3413
888-277-7575
Catholic Relief Services http://crs.org/

1 comment:

Laura said...

I work for Catholic Relief Services and I am truly grateful for the mention in your blog. We too, believe we are all part of one human family and that as Catholics we are called to put our faith in action by helping the poor.

One clarification - Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community. We alleviate suffering and provide assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries overseas. Some of our most urgent projects right now include responding to the global food crisis and assisting in the recovery from the cyclone in Myanmar, and we welcome all donations for international relief and development.

However, to assist victims of the Iowa floods and other natural disasters that occur here in the U.S. please contact Catholic Charities: www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/ or your local diocese.

Thank you so much!

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