6073. 'What are your works?' means regarding duties and services. This is clear from the meaning of 'works' as forms of good, dealt with in 6048, thus useful services and duties, for these are forms of good. Every good that is called a good of charity consists in nothing other than useful service, and useful services are nothing other than works done for one's neighbour, country, Church, and the Lord's kingdom. Regarded essentially charity does not actually become charity until it passes into action and becomes a work; for loving someone but not doing anything good for him when the possibility exists is not really loving him. Doing good for him when the possibility exists, and doing it with all one's heart, is loving him; for then the actual deed or work contains all that constitutes charity towards him. For works embrace every aspect of charity and faith present with a person and are called forms of spiritual good, made such through the exercise of charity, that is, through useful services.
 Because the angels in heaven are governed by good received from the Lord, they have no greater desire than to perform useful services. These are the very delights of their life, and in the measure that they perform useful services they enjoy blessing and happiness, 453, 696, 997, 3645. This is also the Lord's teaching in Matthew,
The Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father together with His angels, and at that time He will repay everyone according to his works. Matthew 16:17.
'Works' is not used here to mean works such as they are in outward appearance but such as they appear inwardly - that is to say, what kind of charity they hold within them. Angels do not look on works in any other way.
Arcana Coelestia 453-454; Matthew 16:27)
 Furthermore, since works are a combination of every aspect of charity and faith present with a person, and since life causes charity to be charity and faith to be faith, and so to be good, John was loved more than the other disciples by the Lord and leaned on His breast at the Last Supper, John 21:20. For that disciple represented the good deeds or works of charity, see the Prefaces to Genesis 18, 22. For the same reason the Lord said to him Follow Me; He did not say it to Peter, 1
who represented faith, see those same Prefaces, and this led faith, which is Peter, to be indignant and say,
Lord, but what about this man? Jesus said to Him, If I will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You, follow Me. John 21:19, 11-23.
This was also a prediction that faith would come to despise works, even though the Lord associates Himself with them, as may also be seen quite clearly from the Lord's words addressed to the sheep and the goats at Matthew 25, where nothing else than works are listed in verses Genesis 47:34-46. The fact that faith would disown the Lord is evident from the representation by Peter in his denial of Him three times, [Matthew 26:34.] His denial 'at night' means the final period of the Church when no charity would exist any longer, 6000; his denial 'three times' means that at that point the final period would be complete, 1825, 2788, 4495, 5159; and 'before the cock crowed' means before a new phase of the Church had arrived, for twilight and morning which follow night mean the first phase of a Church, 2405, 5962.
1. The words Follow Me at John 21:22 were clearly addressed to Peter. What Swedenborg intended to say is not clear to the translator.
Arcana Coelestia 2135, 2760, Genesis 47:3; John 21:21-23; Luke 22:54-62; Mark 14:66-72; Matthew 25:34-46, 26:69-75)