Feb 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday apologetics

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them;otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.----Matthew 6;1

While today's readings for the Mass focus on our sinfulness and our need for our Saviour Jesus Christ, something else caught my eye. I noticed that today's Gospel reading is a great apologetic for the "faith vs. works" debate. Of course as Catholics, we believe that we need both, that they are one in the same. We don't separate them as the Protestants do.   Just the first line of the chapter states that "you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father" if we do not do righteous deeds (good works) for the right reason; for the love of God and neighbor. That tells me that there is some kind of recompense (reward) for good works.

That doesn't mean that we can "work our way into Heaven" as our misguided Protestant friends accuse us of, but it does give more evidence that we must have both to live out the Christian faith in it's fullness as the Catholic Church teaches.

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