St Paul said: The only thing that counts is faith working through love. Many say we are saved by faith alone. (Salvation by faith ALONE is not in scripture), Yet, Paul clearly says this is not true because here, he says the only thing that counts is faith working through love. While we are not saved by doing pious acts alone, such as the Pharisees in the Gospel today, we are not saved by faith alone, because faith must be made visible through our actions, because faith without works is dead.
Many people believe and claim to be Catholics because they were baptized in a catholic church, or went to a catholic school, or served at mass, or are members of a community. All these are good and holy things IF these are all done in faith. Faith has to be in Jesus Christ and the grace and mercy he gives when we repent. Many think the Catholic Church is an organization they belong to and can get out if they are not happy. If I think I am saved because I come to mass on Sundays, or give to the parish, or serve poor and the weak, then I am trusting in my own actions because I think I can save myself. The truth is only Jesus saves and it is by our trust in him, that we are saved. To have faith is to believe, trust in a Person: Jesus Christ. He became human so we can be saved.
Pope Benedict XVI says faith needs to transform us. From this, we can conclude, if I am not transformed in my thinking, in my actions, in my attitude, then I have no faith. This is why Scripture says we are saved by faith because faith changes us and leads us to a new direction towards Jesus. I may go to mass every day, or pray the Rosary every day. But if I continue to live the way I want and do what I want, then I do not have faith because I make myself god, and everyone needs to do what I want, including God! I want God to obey me, I want God to give me what I want, I want God to be at my beck and call. If this is my way of thinking, then I make God my slave. And when this happens, then I will never be saved because I do not have faith. The Pharisees were meticulous in obeying the Law, yet, Jesus calls them unclean, because they have their own ideas of how they can be saved.
The Psalm today says: I find my delight in your commandments, because I love them. I revere your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on yous statutes. I can only have faith when I realize, I am not God and repent and turn back to him.
Lord, teach me to trust you, to believe you, to come back to you. Let me have faith, so you can transform me. Change my heart Lord and always lead me to your will.