Faith without charity bears no fruit, while charity without faith would be a sentiment constantly at the mercy of doubt. Faith and charity each require the other, in such a way that each allows the other to set out along its respective path. Indeed, many Christians dedicate their lives with love to those who are lonely, marginalized or excluded, as to those who are the first with a claim on our attention and the most important for us to support, because it is in them that the reflection of Christ’s own face is seen. Through faith, we can recognize the face of the risen Lord in those who ask for our love. “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40). These words are a warning that must not be forgotten and a perennial invitation to return the love by which he takes care of us. It is faith that enables us to recognize Christ and it is his love that impels us to assist him whenever he becomes our neighbour along the journey of life. Supported by faith, let us look with hope at our commitment in the world, as we await “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Pet 3:13; cf. Rev 21:1
One of the main ways that we witness to the authenticity of the Gospel message is through works of charity. We read in St James’ letter: “Take the case, my brothers, of someone who has never done a single good act but claims that he has faith. Will that faith save him? If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on, 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? Faith is like that: if good works do not go with it, it is quite dead.” James 2:14-17
Faith must be given expression through actions. We are called to put into practice the things that we profess, not least the greatest commandment (Mt 22: 36 - 40) which is to love God and our neighbour as ourselves.
During the Year of Faith the whole Church is invited to re-commit to love and service of others.
Motu Proprio - Porta Fidei
His Holiness has issued an Apostolic Letter initiating the Year which states: "We want this Year to arouse in every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope."
Motu Proprio: Porta Fidei
Did you know?
The first Motu Proprio was issued by Pope Innocent VIII in 1484*.
*The Catholic Encycopedia - New Advent
Prayer for the Year of Faith
Motu Proprio: Porta Fidei
Plenary Indulgence granted for Year of Faith
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Homily on opening the door of faith - Cardinal Piacenza
Pope Announces "year of faith"
Official Year of Faith website of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization