June 23, 2016

Gospel MT 7:21-29
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.
Many will say to me on that day,
‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?
Did we not drive out demons in your name?
Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’
Then I will declare to them solemnly,
‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’
“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.”
When Jesus finished these words,
the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority,
and not as their scribes.
Reflection:
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.”
And what is the “will” of our Father?
Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22: 37-39
And how am I to express my love of God and neighbor?
“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.”
Love is an “action” word.
If I truly “love God,” and am not simply giving Him “lip service,” saying, “Lord, Lord,” then I will act upon that love and devote my heart, soul and mind to Him.
If I truly “love my neighbor,” then I will not want to do anything to harm him, and will go out of my way to help him however I can.
Faith and love of God and neighbor go hand in hand; they are not something to be held to ourselves.
Held to ourselves, they will shrivel and die.
In order to grow and thrive, faith and love must result in good works.
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” – – James 2: 14-17