The Gospel Reading for the Mass for this past Monday of the First Week of Lent lays it out quite clearly as what one must do in order to be saved. The passage is at the end of this post as it’s rather long, but it is one that all Christians should know. It is the scene of the Last Judgement of all humanity, after Jesus returns in glory. People from all eras of human history will be gathered before Him and will be judged as to how they treated the “least among them.” Those that helped the poor, the outcast, the marginalized, the imprisoned will be saved. Those who didn’t… well, there’s bad news for you.
Faith alone doesn’t save you. Jesus Himself said elsewhere that merely saying “Lord, Lord” will not be enough. The Letter from James also states that “Faith without works is dead.”
Faith alone doesn’t save you. Faith, backed up by good works which shows evidence of that faith – this saves. Yes, God knows that you believe in Him, but He also knows that the demons do so as well. What distinguishes you and your Christianity from the demons, or non-believers and non-Christians?
The reason I write this is that in many AA meetings I hear people declare that they had suffered enough and that all they need to do is “not drink and go to meetings.” Wrong. There is so much more that one has to do apart from that. (Incidentally, this whole thing about “just not drinking and go to meetings” is why I began Sober Catholic’s sister blog, The Four Last Things.)
Get out there. Discern what you can do for the “least among us.” Twelve Step work counts, in my opinion. But I also think that one can grow as a person by going beyond helping alcoholics who still suffer.
Read the Gospel passage and figure out how all of your life choices and actions can impact “the least.”
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.’
Then he will say to those on his left,
‘Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.’
And these will go off to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life.”
via USCCB.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"