Thursday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time, June 27
Let Us Make Time in Our Daily Lives and Listen to the Voice of God in Our Hearts, So That He May Become for Us Our Rock Foundation, So That All Our Choices May Always Please Him and Proclaim His Wondrous Glory.
Today’s Readings continue to teach us about choices we make and their consequences which impact our lives, both now and in the life to come. And our Lord opens today’s Gospel with the words, “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.”
I am sure that most of us have seen news videos of homes being destroyed as a result of torrential rainfalls or mudslides, especially if those homes were built on mountain or hill sides. Others have vacation homes in various shore communities that, if not built on strong pilings, will collapse or become flooded due to abnormally high tides or tidal surges.
For those of us who are homeowners, we know how important it is for our homes to be built on a solid foundation, set several feet in the ground, lest our homes become adversely affected due to the shifting effects of ground settling.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is ending His discourse which began with the Beatitudes some two chapters earlier in Matthew. Our Lord is comparing one’s spiritual life to that of a home which is built on either a solid foundation or a weak one.
He says, “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” And then our Lord goes on to explain how the different ups and downs of life, to which each of us can attest, will beat against this house, which represents our faith, and which is built on the rock foundation of Christ’s words. And our faith – this house – will weather the storms that life may toss against it.
On the “flip-side” of this scenario, however, those who do not take the teachings of Christ and make them a part of their lives, those who only pay lip service but have no real depth of faith, sadly will not survive the trials in life.
For their faith is like that of a house build on sand with no foundation, “The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”
In essence, our Lord is giving to each one of us a choice. We can choose to either listen or not; we can choose either eternal life or eternal death. For our Lord reminds us, “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.”
The consequence of not listening is quite sobering and dire indeed!
Even Hagar, who found herself pregnant in our First Reading, and who was running away from an abusive mistress, was given an opportunity by God’s messenger to submit herself to a period of sadness at the hands of Abrams’s wife Sarai. By doing so, and by placing her trust and faith in God, the consequence would become one of joy, for she would become the mother of countless generations to follow.
Scripture tells us, “I will make your descendants so numerous, that they will be too many to count. Besides you are now pregnant and shall bear a son; you shall name him Ishmael, For the LORD has heard you, God has answered you.”
The message here, of course, is not about God condoning abuse; rather it a message of faith, a message of listening to the voice of God and heeding all that He asks of us. Hagar could have said no to God’s messenger, but then she would be denying all that God was ready to offer.
You and I also have that same choice in our daily lives – we can either say no, or we can repeat what our Lord said in the Garden of Gethsemane during His agony, “…not my will but yours be done.”
The Scriptures are reminding us today that if we choose to keep God’s Commandments, then our life of faith will be like a house that is “built on rock.” However, if our choices in life are not in accord with God’s will for us, and if we persist in choosing a path which leads to sin and spiritual darkness, then our Lord reminds us that “Not everyone…will enter the Kingdom of heaven.”
Very sobering words? Most definitely “Yes!” God made us out of Divine Love, and His Love constantly beckons us to spend our eternity with Him. As a result, God gave to us His Commandments as laws which oblige our conduct in love of God and love of neighbor. They teach us what God asks of us in regard to our rightful worship of Him, and our moral conduct with each other.
Our Lord also gave us the Beatitudes, which become guideposts, spiritual markers which become our compass in our walk of faith; they become our roadmap to our eternal inheritance, instructing us in how we are to live our life – a life which embraces the very Mind and Heart of God Himself in how we are to relate to each other.
But if we were to close our eyes and say “no” to God’s Commandments and the Beatitudes, if we were to say “no” to all the inspirations which the Holy Spirit gives to us in our lives, it would be the same as saying we choose death over life; it would be the same as saying we choose damnation over salvation!
Sadly, and without being judgmental, how many people do we personally know, in our life time, who have said “no” to the Holy Spirit, and who continue, in their obstinacy, to say no – all at their own detriment?
“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.”
Yet, it is God’s Divine Mercy which keeps reaching out to us, inviting us, almost pleading with us to “Please come back home to Me.”
The point of today’s Readings is that each of us, both you and I, need to make time in our daily lives – we need to take the time and listen to the voice of God in our hearts, and we need to take His words seriously!
It is our Lord’s most earnest desire that you and I share eternal life with Him in His Heavenly Kingdom. It is for this reason He set aside the awesome nature of His Divinity in order to take upon Himself our human nature, with all of its weaknesses except sin, so that He may bring us to know God’s Love within us.
In humility and love, if we make the Lord and His Word the rock foundation of our lives, then nothing can shake us or keep us from God’s saving Presence. For it is His will that we continuously call upon Him to assist us in all our daily endeavors, so that we may always be guided to make the right choices. For, in doing so, we proclaim His wondrous glory!
Let the words of today’s psalmist become our words of praise and thanksgiving, giving thanks to the God of all Mercy and Love for all the good gifts which He has given to us: “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.”
And may this psalm, this song of praise and thanksgiving become our song also, reaching out to the God who loves us, to the God who teaches us, to the God who guides and strengthens us with His words of Truth –
– so that we may have life, and that we may have it to the fullest! †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “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.” (Matthew 7:21)
- “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.” (Matthew 7:24-25)
- “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.” (Matthew 7:26-27)
- “…Oh, that today you would hear his voice: ‘Harden not your hearts.’” (Hebrews 4:7b)
- “Whoever belongs to God hears the words of God.” (John 8:47a)
- “…not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42b)
- “My son, if you receive my words and treasure my commands, Turning your ear to wisdom, inclining your heart to understanding; Yes, if you call to intelligence, and to understanding raise your voice; If you seek her like silver, and like hidden treasures search her out: Then will you understand the fear of the LORD; the knowledge of God you will find” (Proverbs 2:1-5)
- “But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.” (Matthew 6:33)
- “Give thanks to the LORD, who is good, whose mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 106:1b)
Prayer for the Day
“Our Eternal and Most Loving Father in Heaven,
may everything I do begin with Your inspiration,
continue with Your saving help,
and reach perfection under Your guidance.
“With Your loving care, guide me in my daily actions,
and help me to persevere with love and sincerity.
Teach me to judge wisely the things of Earth
and to always love the things of Heaven.
“Your Spirit instilled in my heart that I am Your child,
and I am confident to call You my Father.
Keep me in Your Presence always
and never let me be separated from You.
“Make Your Love and Mercy the foundation of my life;
teach me to long for Heaven as my eternal Home.
May its promise and hope guide my way on Earth
until I finally reach eternal life with You. Amen.”Anonymous