Feast of Christ the King

QPosted on: Tue Dec 11, 2012

6Duration: 8:40 mins

"A first lesson from this parable is that it is not only what we believe but also what we do that matters for our salvation. Now there has been some confusion over this point for the last 5 centuries, partly because of the teachings of Martin Luther, who started the Protestant movement. In his new doctrine, Luther claims that we are saved by our faith alone, regardless of our deeds, whether good or evil. Luther also accused the Catholic Church of teaching that we can merit our salvation by good works, like earning our way to heaven. Now what Luther taught was wrong, or at least incomplete, as today's Gospel shows. Neither the Bible or the Church has ever taught that we earn our salvation through good works; salvation is an unmerited grace. This grace is however like a divine seed that should generate the fruits of divine love, these fruits being actions in which we love in union with God. Without such things we have merely a dead faith. St Thomas Aquinas, for example, describes benignity, a fruit of the Holy Spirit, as being like a holy fire by which a person melts to relieve the needs of others."

Readings: Gospel - St Matthew (25:31-46): Jesus said to his disciples: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' 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.' ..

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