December 2, 2004
Thursday of the First Week of Advent
John Doyle, LC
Matthew 7:21, 24-27
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, but it did not collapse; it
had been set solidly on rock. 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, and the floods came, and
the winds blew and buffeted the house, and it collapsed
and was completely ruined.”
Introductory Prayer:Lord Jesus I place myself before
you. Assist me with your Holy Spirit to hear and
put into practice God’s will so that I will build
my future and this day with you. I am sure
that I will be buffeted and blown about by trial,
but I am also certain that you will be my
sure support through it all.
Petition :Lord God, grant me great
sincerity in my life so that I will really be
what I profess to be: an authentic Christian.
1. Authentic Faith.
A leader of the Protestant Reformation who believed in the
sole necessity of faith for salvation once declared––for the sake
of making a point––, “sin hard, but believe harder and
you will be saved.” This is certainly not the same
kind of faith that Our Lord is referring to in
this parable. How can we claim to believe in Jesus
and not obey his commandments? How can we call upon
the name of the Lord and ask him to come
into our heart and rule there while making a non-aggression
pact with sin in our life? So if salvation comes
through faith, then faith implies obedience. If your faith doesn’t
affect the way you live, then it really isn’t faith
at all but some inexpensive substitute.
2. Building on Rock.
If we lived in a truly Christian society then maybe
it would be easy to lay the foundations for our
spiritual life. As it is however, we can expect that
no matter how calm things may seem, hurricanes are always
just around the corner. To weather the storm we need
to be anchored fast. What are the foundations on which
Christ invites us to build the edifice of our life?
Obedience to Christ’s teaching is the key aspect here. As
we listen and put Christ’s teaching into practice, we will
engender virtue, until Christian living becomes like a second nature
to us. Is there some aspect of Christ’s teaching that
I don’t put into practice? How can I grow in
3. Building on Sand. Sadly enough inauthentic examples of Christian
living abound throughout society. A number of good people claim
to have found a way to make Christianity compatible with
a comfortable “beach” life. They lay one beam after another
on the shifting sands of their feelings, inclinations and the
opinions of those around them. Such people are personally opposed
to many evils but are unwilling to stand up against
anyone of them. Little by little they allow sin to
take root even while never completely abandoning external practices of
piety. In the end however all the illusions of stability
will be shaken and the true state of things will
be revealed. Have I become too comfortable in living my
Christian commitments? Am I afraid to stand up for the
Dialogue with Christ: Lord Jesus I don’t want to
be a Christian in name only. I want my faith
to be a reality that affects my whole life and
every aspect of it. Help me to lay the foundations
that will make me a better follower of yours.
propose today to practice a virtue that I find difficult.
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