Is 26,1-6 / Mt 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 build 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.”
IN OTHER WORDS
In Timor-Leste, I saw the building of a school dormitory with flooring and walls almost done but the posts still missing. Fr. Reniel Nachima, SVD said that here, without typhoons, floods and earthquakes, building a house is easier, cheaper, and without worries about its foundation and security.
Our gospel today tells us that entering God’s eternal dwelling (built on love, justice, mercy, peace) isn’t at all easy, cheap and reassuring. “For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Mt. 7:14). It sets a condition which can make exclusion inevitable. “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you’ve faith but don’t have works?
Can faith save you?” (James 2:14). Indeed, saying “Lord, Lord” is not enough. Professing our faith, teaching, and preaching the Word of God are empty without the outward manifestations of doing the Father’s will. Jesus tells his disciples that the Father’s will is about taking care of the little ones- children, the lost, outcasts, the sick, naked, hungry, thirsty, prisoners, strangers (Mt. 18, 25:35ff ); about changing one’s mind, believing and working in the vineyard (Mt. 21:28ff ).
St. Paul urges us to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share (1Tim. 6:18). Just “saying” is not enough; it is too hypocritical. Just “doing” is neither enough; it is too secular. Saying and doing, listening and acting, praying and performing, faith and good works must always go together. As we begin this new liturgical season, let’s build our lives and homes on the spirit of Christ’s Adventus. Amidst life’s storms, we will never be ruined if our foundation and security are solidly built on the Eternal Rock, Jesus Christ.
- Fr. Jay Baliao, SVD | Timor Leste Region
The Word in other words 2016
An annual project of Logos Publications, The WORD in Other Words Bible Diary contains daily scripture readings and reflections written by priest, brothers, and sisters of the three congregations founded by St. Arnold Janssen (the SVD, SSpS, and SSpSAP). It hopes to serve as a daily companion to readers who continually seek the correlation of the Word of God and human experience.