Lent, 4th Sunday (B) What does the Catholic Church actually teach about salvation? Do you have to be "good enough" to get to Heaven? Or is it enough just to have faith, as your Bible-church friends like to say?

God always acts first and we respond. God offered a covenant with Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. He was setting the stage for the gift of his Son, Jesus. God offers the Christ Child, and Mary accepts Him. It is through Jesus that God offers salvation. Our first response must be faith, that is, trust in God.

Faith is the beginning, but it is not the end. Actions speak louder than words. We must respond not just with an act of faith, but also with a life of faith. Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving should all be a response to God's love. Faith without works is dead; works without faith is an empty show. Pray for faith, and live your faith each day.

(14 Mar 2021)

Going Deeper: How did you experience God's love for you at Advent? How can you share God's love with others during Lent?

James 2:14-26 says: What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him?If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

But some one will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you foolish fellow, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.

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