In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 16, we hear Jesus telling His disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." I hope those words are familiar to us. But He says something right after that that may have been forgotten by some.
"For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay each according to his conduct." This leads us back to the age old argument of faith and works.
As Catholics, we don't believe in the doctrine of "faith alone." We also don't subscribe to "salvation by works." For us, it isn't either/or, but both/and. We must believe in the Son of God and His atoning death and resurrection, but we must also conduct our lives in accordance with those beliefs. Let's pray that our conduct will comport with our faith, and help bring us eternal life through Christ Jesus.
Father, forgive us for our conduct unbecoming a Christian. May our faith be lived out in our conduct. Amen.