DEC. 3. ADVENT WK 1. THU. MATT. 7. 21-27
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!’
There is an important message in this reading that Christians need to hear; - namely “wanting to be the friend of God” is not enough, and He is looking for much more from each of us.
Many sinners want to be God’s friends also, so there must be another component that needs to be added to this very understandable desire, and in the above reading Christ spells this out, namely: “the person who does the will of my Father in heaven”.
It is easy to ‘desire’ to be the friend of God and we often forget Christ taught that, in order to attain this goal, self-denial and self-sacrifice are essential; - a truth borne out by Christ himself, by Mary his Mother, and by all the Saints!
How easy it is to ‘overlook’ or ‘forget’ this truth that was clearly spelt out by Christ in both his life and the Gospels?
“Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock”. It is so easy to “listen to Christ’s words”; - but it is difficult to “act on them”; - something we quickly understand on trying to become a follower of Christ?
Rains will come, floods will rise, and gales will blow against us on our earthly pilgrimage, so our life must be founded on rock; - the rock of Faith. As the builder of our own house, we are responsible for its foundation; - and we are being warned here to ensure the foundation is rock, rather than sand!
So how do we ensure our house is built on rock, rather than sand?
The answer is found in the extent to which we; - turn to God in Humble Prayer; - strive to truly imitate Christ through the practice of the virtues, (particularly Meekness, Humility and Charity); - make regular use of the Sacraments; - and practice True Devotion to Mary, the Mother of God; - and Mother of the Church!
I think a further major lesson contained within this teaching of Christ is that each of us must accept that, in the following of Christ; - in the living of our Christian Vocation; - we have some very significant responsibilities; - and it is not enough to ‘desire’ to be a friend of God!
Even sinners want that!
The difference is we have to “Do the Will of the Father”; - which requires we study the life of Christ; - and strive to imitate his virtues; - with the assistance of Prayer, Humility, Sacrament and Devotion to Mary!