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Rock Solid

December 4, 2003
Thursday of the First Week of Advent

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, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for this day and for this time to be with you. I believe you are present here and at every moment of my life. Help me to know and follow your will.

Petition: Lord Jesus, open my heart to hear your word and do your will, building on the solid rock of faith and a firm will.

1. Faithful action, not pious words
Words are cheap, at least when they are not worth putting into action. The path that Christ sets before us by his example is that of choosing and doing the will of his Father in heaven. “If it is possible, let this cup pass…;” this petition speaks of the difficulty we all feel in being faithful to what God asks of us, but the words “not my will, but yours be done” mark out that path that Christ has made for us. The words of Mary our mother, “I am the servant of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word,” echo the program of life of the saints, and the fundamental attitude of a Christian.

2. Listen
We hear Christ’s word in the Gospel, in the teachings of his Church, and in the teachings of the Pope––the rock of Peter. Formed by the truths taught by Christ, and open to the inspirations God sends in prayer, my conscience will be a sensitive ear to what God is asking of me. The fact is that action in the right direction is only possible when we have taken the time to listen first. True wisdom begins here, in having an open ear to the Word.

3. Building on virtue
Building on virtue is not so popular in a world that tells us to do what makes us “feel good”. Being virtuous regularly demands that we don’t just follow our whims or our passions, but do what is good, even when it hurts. A life built on virtue will not be at the mercy of the changes in feeling, or passions, or surrounding circumstances. Built on virtue, we can remain constant in peace even in the face of the most difficult trials. The virtue that God gives us, and that we help make grow, needs to be the foundation of our life. The Catechism tells us that “the theological virtues are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they animate it and give it its special character. They inform and give life to all the moral virtues….” (CCC 1813) Based here, my house is built on solid rock.

Dialogue with Christ: Thank you Lord for the gift of faith to believe in you. Increase my faith. Thank you for the gift of hope that reminds me that you have a place prepared and waiting for me––I trust in you. Lord, thank you for the Cross that reminds me of your great love. Help me to make of this faith, hope, and love the firm footing for my time and eternity.

Resolution: Read the Gospel for 5 minutes today.

By Father Jon Budke, LC

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