Readings for Monday March 14, 2011
First Reading: Leviticus 19:1-2.11-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 19
Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46
And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Matt 25:40)
For Catholics, we believe that it is by faith and good works that we are able to make it to heaven. However, one of the key differences between protestants and Catholics that emerged from the reformation, is the idea that we are saved by faith alone. While having faith is certainly an important component of our salvation, we must remember, the things that we do matter as well. For anyone who wishes to argue this point, I would refer them to today's gospel reading.
So, since faith and works are both important in our lives, how do we go about having solid faith and go about doing good works? It is certainly not always easy for us to take time in prayer and to be silent with God, or to snap out of the business of our daily lives to look to help people. So how do we go about this? First, we must stop relying on ourselves so much, we must begin to rely on God and look to Him for an increased faith and a heart that seeks to help those in need. We must pray to the Holy Spirit to show us how to do the works that we are called to in our lives. Praying for the Holy Spirit to work in us is an important step in allowing the fruits of the spirit to manifest in our lives. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, modesty, chastity, and generosity. Now whose lives would not be better and more meaningful by allowing these fruits to take place in their lives? I believe all of our lives would be.
We are recognized and judged on the fruit that we bear in our lives. We must be open to the Holy Spirit in our lives. He wants to work in all of us, all we have to do is pray and open our heart to Him. By doing this, we can truly help the least of our brothers and sisters that God puts along our path.
Today, ask yourself and pray about the following question; how does the Holy Spirit want to work in your life?
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created and you will renew the face of the earth.
Lord, by the light of the Holy Spirit you have taught the hearts of your faithful. In the same Spirit help us to relish what is right and always rejoice in your consolation. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.