Today’s Gospel (Matthew 7:21,24-27):
‘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!’’
In this Gospel passage Jesus, as he often does, gives us a stark choice. Doing the will of the Father or not doing the will of the Father. And he provides an example of a house being built on rock as being comparable to someone who listens to him and does the Father’s will. And he provides a further example of a house being built on sand as being comparable to someone who listens to what he says but who does not do the will of the Father.
In today’s western society we have very few excuses for not being aware of Jesus and what he taught. Gone are the days when you had to rely on the Bible or rely on the Liturgy of the Mass or the readings at Sunday Service to hear what Jesus said. It’s everywhere! It’s on the internet, it’s on blogs, it’s on Twitter and Facebook, it’s even on apps for your smartphone!
Yet listening to Jesus is one thing, doing what he says is quite another. The hard part is living out Jesus’ instructions in our daily lives yet what Jesus teaches us is love. How can that be hard? Unfortunately, society makes it hard. Modern society believes in self-gratification, honour and power, wealth and prestige. It believes in being the very best you can be and achieving greatness in worldly ideals. Money, power and honour are idolised and seen as the gauge by which to determine our worth to society. Yet where someone achieves honour there are others who have missed out. Where someone achieves more power there are others who lose power. Where someone increases their wealth there will inevitably be someone who loses out. The result….conflict. These worldly ideals are all finite and will inevitably lead to conflict where the weakest are left with little or nothing. Isn’t that precisely where our world is today?
Yet God offers us love. And that love is infinite and there is more than enough to go round everyone. If only everyone turned to that love and made the will of God their goal in life, the world would be a much better place.