The Gospel according to Matthew (7:21, 24-27)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”
Reflection: I’ve never been much of a handy man, just ask Ana, my wife. However, I have tackled a few projects in my time. From furniture that comes in a box to be assembled, patching drywall, and some amateur gardening. After many trials and more errors, I have learned to follow directions and use the appropriate tools. It seems that this is what we are encouraged to consider in today’s gospel. Maybe the saying “proper preparation prevents poor performance” applies here.
In this first week of Advent, we are preparing for two things, the celebration of when the Word was made flesh and for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. It would be true to say that we should prepare every day, all year long for when we are called home. But we are truly blessed that our Church, in her wisdom, guides us through special seasons throughout our liturgical year. This is a time to recall the most significant revelation of God’s relationship with all of us. He humbled himself to become like us so he could share in His divinity.
So how are we preparing, or as today’s gospel clearly says, on what kind of foundation are we building our spiritual dwelling. It would be safe to say that we have all deceived ourselves into thinking we can build anywhere and succeed only to face the misery of countless failures. At some point we realize that our plan will never work unless we align ourselves with the will of God and build upon the cornerstone of the church, Jesus Christ.
As we have witnessed, those who build on and around the only foundation that weathers any storm overcome life’s greatest challenges. But remember, the storms will come. And in the midst of these storms, we are to hold on and trust that our foundation will keep us anchored to the love, mercy, and compassion of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Action of the Day: Let’s all focus on the condition of our spiritual foundation. If it is on solid ground, then help someone fortify theirs. If it needs maintenance get to work. Ongoing concern and care for who our anchor is will enable us not just to survive but to thrive!