“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 built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house” – Matthew 7:21, 24-27
In these passages from Matthew’s Gospel, we hear Jesus speaking to us about building our houses on rock and not on sand so that they will withstand the rains and the winds that will surely come. This metaphor came alive to me recently when hurricane Ida passed through the southern US and followed a path to the northeast destroying buildings and taking lives. This destruction drew the attention of the nation to its need to address the ever-weakening infrastructure and, in a sense, to rebuild our houses on rock.
But Jesus here is talking to us about our lives, especially the lives of his followers then and now. He calls us to build a strong relationship with him/God that will impel us to respond generously and lovingly to the needs of others and the world.
“Psalm 18 declares “My God is my rock in whom I take refuge…“
Building our lives on this rock isn’t a one-time task. We are called daily to pray and listen deeply. In my youth and early religious life, much time was spent in the recitation of prayers, the “Lord, Lord“ type that Jesus mentions. This practice did not leave one much time to listen to God’s response. I have come to believe prayer is much more of a two-way street and that the Lord, “my rock” has much to say and lead me to consider if only I listen and pay attention.
Oh Lord, help us to be aware of your active presence in our lives and especially in our prayer. And may this interaction give us the courage to respond in love.
Brother Paul Murray, C.F.X.
To view the full Advent 2021 booklet in English, click here.
For Spanish, click here.
For French, click here.