Daily Reflection – 6/25/2020
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. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’ 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.” When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.( Matthew 7:21-29)
If you have ever experienced a crisis in your life, then you can certainly relate to today’s gospel. Many people have experienced an episode in their lives when it seemed like everything was falling apart. Sometimes our lives actually do fall apart because of the death of a spouse, a divorce, the loss of a child, family member or friend. Most of us can recall at least one experience in our lives that was absolutely heartbreaking and perhaps our lives underwent a major change because of it. It wasn’t easy, was it?
Jesus talks about the storms in our lives in today’s gospel: The meaning of this verse in the gospel seems pretty simple. Our faith in God is the bedrock of our lives. We can handle whatever life throws at us, as long as we are firmly grounded in our faith in God.
The kind of foundation we build our lives upon will determine whether we can survive the storms that are sure to come. It takes foresight to know how a foundation will stand up against adverse conditions. Building a house on a flood plain, such as a dry river-bed, is a sure bet for disaster! Jesus prefaced his story with a warning: We may fool humans with our speech, but God cannot be deceived. He sees the heart as it truly is — with its motives, intentions, desires, and choices (Psalm 139:2).
There is only one way in which a person’s sincerity can be proved, and that is by one’s practice. Fine words can never replace good deeds. Our character is revealed in the choices we make, especially when we must choose between what is true or false, and good or evil. We must be active, living Christians every day of our lives. We know this, not on the authority of any saint or Apostle, but on the authority of Christ himself.
Nominal Christianity will get no one to heaven, he tells us. Only those who have led their daily lives, according to the rules he laid down, will hear the welcome words on his judgment day: “come you blessed of my Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you.” The rules he laid down were summarized by Christ in another place: “Love of God and love of neighbor, on these two commandments stand the whole law and the prophets too” (Mt. 22: 34-40).
The love of neighbor may be the harder of the two. We have so many reasons for loving God, for thanking and adoring him. But the neighbor, who often seems so unworthy of our charitable help, who is so often ungrateful, how difficult it is for weak nature to continue being kind and helpful to him! Yet it is by our true love of neighbor that we prove our love for God, as St. John tells us, when he says: “Anyone who says ‘I love God’ and hates his brother is a liar” (1 Jn. 4: 20). This is strong but true language.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, you are the only foundation that can hold us up when trials and disaster threaten us. Give me the wisdom, foresight, and strength of character I need to do what is right and good and to reject whatever is false and contrary to your will May I be a doer of your word and not a hearer only.”
A true person is honest and reliable before God, neighbor, and oneself. Such a person’s word can be taken as trustworthy. What can keep us from falsehood and disaster? If we make the Lord and his word the rock and foundation of our lives, then nothing can shake us or keep us from God’s presence and help.