June 26, 2014

The Gospel Today 

Thursday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 7:21-29

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.

Reflection (Sem. Emmanuel Calumpong):

     If the threat of disaster is to come your way, would you be ready to meet it and overcome it? What’s the significance of today’s Gospel story for us?

      The kind of foundation we build our lives upon will determine whether we can survive the storms that are sure to come. Builders usually lay their foundations when the weather and soil conditions are at their best.  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 riverbed, 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. 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.  Do you cheat on an exam or on your income taxes, especially when it will cost you?  Do you lie, or cover-up, when disclosing the truth will cause you pain or embarrassment?

      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.

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