Homily for December 1st, 2016:
Matthew 7:21, 24-27.
“Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the
Jesus tells us, “but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”
Who are the people who say, “Lord, Lord”? We
are! Every time we pray – and your presence here shows that you do pray –
we are saying, “Lord, Lord.” God asks for more, Jesus is telling us. If our
prayers do not bear fruit in our lives, they are useless. kingdom of God
The parable of the two houses which follows shows the difference between words and deeds. It may reflect something Jesus himself had witnessed: a house built on sandy, low lying ground, swept away by heavy rains and storms. Those of us who live in the
valley witness that every decade or so. Houses built, despite all previous
experience, on the floodplain are swept away, or rendered uninhabitable, when
the Father of Waters, as the native Americans called the river, overflows its
banks. Meanwhile, those who build on higher ground, with solid foundations,
experience no loss at all. Mississippi
What does it mean to build on sand? It means basing our lives and hopes on things that are unstable and fleeting: money, success, fame – even health and prosperity. To build on rock means to build our lives on God. The Bible often compares God to solid rock. We have an example in today’s first reading, from the prophet Isaiah, “Trust in the Lord forever,” he writes, “for the Lord is an eternal Rock.” Simply calling out ‘Lord, Lord,” is useless, if the good things we do are not done for Him, but for our own glory, to impress other people.
Here is a prayer written by a man who built on God: Cardinal Mercier of
, a hero
to his people for defending them, at great personal cost, during the German
occupation of World War I. It goes like this: “O Holy Spirit, Beloved of my
soul, I adore you. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me
what I should do. Give me your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that you
desire of me and to accept all that you permit to happen to me. Let me only
know your will. Amen.” Belgium
I pray that prayer myself, every day.