From the Epistle of St. James, 2:14-17
14 How does it help, my brothers, when someone who has never done a single good act claims to have faith? Will that faith bring salvation?
15 If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on,
16 and one of you says to them, ‘I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty,’
without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that?
17 In the same way faith, if good deeds do not go with it, is quite dead.
Our jobs as Christians is to give those without faith, those who are doubting their faith, and those who have lost their faith, the spiritual necessities to regain that faith they once had by our actions and deeds. Pray with and for those who doubt their faith or have lost their faith. Feed the hungry, both nutritionally and spiritually. Clothe the naked, both physically and spiritually. Comfort the sick and dying, both physically and spiritually. And last but not least, open your homes to the homeless, both spiritually and physically.
Matthew 25:31-40 says:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
32Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.
34Then 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.
35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
36I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.
’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
38And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
39And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.
The instructions are pretty clear here: we are our brothers’ keepers. Jesus has instructed us to take care of each other both physically and spiritually. It is up to each of us to fulfill Jesus’s instruction in order to inherit the kingdom of Heaven.
If we don’t follow the above instructions then we can expect the following as stated in Matthew 25:41-46
41Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
44Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’
45Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’
46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
The instructions seem clear and the rewards are truly wonderful. Just as the consequences of not following the teachings of the Lord are quite clear and not nearly as wonderful.
Step back and take a look at your Christian life and evaluate yourself. Have you followed the teachings, have you clothed, fed, prayed, or visited? Or do you shun and ignore the people who need your spiritual help and guidance. Today would be a good time to start looking a little closer at those who most of us feel are “beneath us” or “unreachable”. Even the smallest act of kindness and true love might be just enough to touch the hearts of those in need.