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. On that day
many will say to me, ´Lord, Lord, did we not
prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your
name, and do many deeds of power in your name?´
Then I will declare to them, ´I never knew you;
go away from me, you evildoers.´ Everyone then who hears
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 beat on that house, but it did not fall,
because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who
hears these words of mine and does not act on
them will be like a foolish man who built his
house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came,
and the winds blew and beat against that house, and
it fell -- and great was its fall!" Now when
Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded
at his teaching, for he taught them as one having
authority, and not as their scribes.
Prayer: Lord, before I can produce anything lasting in my
life, I need to be united to you in prayer.
Aware of my weakness and inclination to sin, I trust
all the more in your forgiveness and mercy. I believe
in your presence in the Eucharist. It gives me the
assurances that you really are with your Church until the
end of time.
Petition: Lord, help me
to improve one point of my life that has been
1. Lord, Lord: "Faith without works
is useless" (James 2:20). Witnessing to our faith through our
works is crucial. It´s not enough to go to Mass
on Sunday, to have the Bible on the shelf, to
hang a rosary on the rearview mirror. Faith in Christ
means daily conversion, changing our lives in conformity to his
will. "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).
Doing the will of the Father means works of charity,
of patience, of disinterested service. Real expressions of our faith
demand that we give of ourselves. Real faith doesn´t leave
us feeling smug. Do I ever feel self-righteous because "I´m
with the Pope"? Because I "never got caught" doing something
wrong? Does my faith in Christ leave me complacent? Or
does it drive me to works of charity?
2. Rock Solid: Listening to and following Christ means
living as we should. There is a truth about our
being human that demands a response. To know, love and
serve God in this world, and to be happy with
him forever in the next, sums up the purpose of
our lives (see Catechism, No. 1). When we sin, we
break not only with Christ but with ourselves. We feel
divided interiorly by our passions, our anger, our vanity, our
greed. Christ invites us to "come home," to be what
we were meant to be. That is the surest foundation
we can have when a crisis strikes. Where am I
"building on sand"? Is my prayer life weak? Am I
stingy with my possessions? Hardhearted toward a family member?
3. Façade: We can surmise that the house
built on sand looked sturdy -- that is why no
one thought to test its strength before the big storm
arrived. Our lives can be the same way. In a
time of calm everything seems OK. No cares, no fears.
Everything looks good on the outside, like those old Hollywood
movie sets: all façade, but no depth. Beneath the surface,
however, there might lie decay, chronic problems, issues that aren´t
resolved, emptiness -- all because Christ isn´t the center of
our lives. Are there areas of my life where I´m
living superficially? Am I just putting up appearances for the
neighbors? My parents? My spouse? My sweetheart? My pastor? What
problems do I need to weed out of my life?
Conversation with Christ: Lord, you love
me too much to stand by and let me live
my life on the surface. You know it is difficult
for me to give up my mask, because it is
never easy for me to face my weaknesses. Give me
the strength to confront what I need to change in
Resolution: I will note one
area where I´m not living up to the public image
I present. Then I will offer up a decade of
the rosary to overcome that vice or weakness.