Thursday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time, June 25
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 remember writing about this once before, but 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 mountains 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 abnormal 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 dire indeed!
Even King Jehoiachin (dzhee-HOI-uh-kihn), in our First Reading, learned too late the consequences for the bad choices he had made. As Scripture tells us, “He did evil in the sight of the LORD, just as his forebears had 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 as 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 daily 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!
Then, we become no different than King Jehoiachin who built his house on sand! For we read how his house collapsed under the siege led by King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. So too for us – if we freely choose to walk through life with our hearts closed to the teachings of Christ, if we freely choose to close a blind eye to His Truth, we would also eventually collapse upon ourselves!
Sadly, and without being judgmental, how many people turn their backs on Christ’s words of Eternal Truth with all the mayhem and violence being perpetrated against others? And 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 echo what is within our hearts, reaching up to God imploring His mercy and forgiveness – “Remember not against us the iniquities of the past; may your compassion quickly come to us…Help us, O God our savior, because of the glory of your name; Deliver us and pardon our sins for your name’s sake.”
And may this psalm, this prayer of petition become our prayer 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)
- “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king… He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, just as his father had done.” (2 Kings 24:8a, 9)
- “At that time officers of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, attacked Jerusalem, and the city came under siege…He deported Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king’s mother, his wives, his functionaries, and the chiefs of the land he led captive from Jerusalem to Babylon.” (2 Kings 24:10, 15)
- “I said: ‘This people’s heart goes astray; they do not know my ways.’ Therefore I swore in my anger: ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” (Psalm 95:10b-11)
- “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)
- “Do not remember against us the iniquities of our forefathers; let your compassion move quickly ahead of us…Help us, God our savior, on account of the glory of your name. Deliver us, pardon our sins for your name’s sake.” (Psalm 79:8ab, 9)
- “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.” (Matthew 6:33)
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;Anonymous
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.”