Thu | Apr 2, 2020

Diary of a Ghetto Priest | Christians: Be doers of the Word

Published:Monday | February 24, 2020 | 12:15 AM

How many time have I been criticised: “Father, stop trying to please God by deeds. You can’t do anything for Him. Faith alone can save you! Not deeds.” Jesus tells us in the parable of the last judgement, if we do not feed, clothe, welcome, share our goods with the least of our brothers and sisters, we have not done it unto Him.

We are to be doers of the Word, not just hearers, lest we deceive ourselves. The hearer who does not become a doer “is like that one, who looked at himself in the mirror, he looked, and then promptly forgets what he looks like.” St James is hated by some Christians for ­saying such words. But then Jesus Himself keeps insisting that we must labour for our salvation. Actually, we will be happy and blessed when we live out the beatitudes. We will find blessings in our deeds.

We must work at our faith, not simply pray. Prayer without works is dead. We are to make the deeds of Christ come alive by ­feeding 5,000, by working with the ­lepers, comforting the ­cripples, taking care of the women with the ­haemorrhage, soothing the nerves of the mentally ill. Whatever ailments, whatever fears, anxiety and sins, we must be there to listen, comfort, forgive.

We are the hands, feet, eyes, ears of Jesus Christ. We configure Christ as His presence in the world by the lives we offer Him and the works that we do. It is important to pray, but works are the fruit of prayer. As St Augustine says, “Pray as though everything depends on God, and work as though everything depends on you”.

We must be doers of the Word. We worship God with our whole heart and mind, but we also labour like agents on whom the Kingdom of God depends. We must work and labour until there is nothing more that we can do, then God will bring to completion what must be done by His mighty hand.