Oooh geez! It's one of those readings that get Catholics and Protestants going at each other:
What good is it, my brothers and sisters,
if someone says he has faith but does not have works?
Can that faith save him?
If a brother or sister has nothing to wear
and has no food for the day,
and one of you says to them,
"Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well, "
but you do not give them the necessities of the body,
what good is it?
So also faith of itself,
if it does not have works, is dead.
Indeed someone might say,
"You have faith and I have works."
Demonstrate your faith to me without works,
and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.
Saying you have faith won't save you. And, only doing works (without faith) won't save you.
It's the combination of the two. My faith should get me off my butt to serve others. "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words." I love this quote from St. Francis of Assisi and I think it sums up today's reading well. My life should be a demonstration of my faith. Every moment, every interaction should preach the Gospel to others. It should be, but it's not always.
Each season of life brings new and different opportunities to share faith and works. As a single person I had far more time to give to ministry and to service. As a mom with a young child there are days I don't have time to take a shower, but I have more time now than I did when my son was a baby. While I wish I had the time (and the energy) to do more works of service, it's not possible right now. Sometimes that makes me sad/discouraged because I feel like I'm not serving the Kingdom. However, as parent I need to remember that my first mission field is to the little guy who watches me day in and day out.
The season of life with young children can feel long and monotonous, but this season will pass. The work in this season of the mission is to be an engineer and lay a foundation for my son.