Gospel for December 5, 2013, Thursday
1st Week of Advent
Psalter: Week 1
Ps 118:1 and 8–9, 19–21, 25–27a
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
1st Reading: Is 26:1–6
On that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city,
he himself has set up
walls and fortifications to protect us.
Open the gates!
Let the righteous nation enter,
she who is firm in faithfulness.
You keep in perfect peace
the one of steadfast mind,
the one who trusts in you.
Trust in Yahweh forever,
for Yahweh is an everlasting Rock.
He brought down those who dwell on high,
he laid low the lofty city,
he razed it to the ground,
leveled it to the dust,
Now it is trampled
the poor and the lowly tread upon it.
Gospel: Mt 7:21, 24–27
Jesus said to his disciples, “Not everyone who says to me: Lord! Lord! will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my heavenly Father.
“So, then, anyone who hears these words of mine and acts accordingly is like a wise man, who built his house on rock. The rain poured, the rivers flooded, and the wind blew and struck that house, but it did not collapse because it was built on rock. But anyone who hears these words of mine and does not act accordingly, is like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain poured, the rivers flooded, and the wind blew and struck that house; it collapsed, and what a terrible fall that was!”
Whereas it is necessary that a house be built on a solid foundation to survive the forces of nature, it would be foolhardy to limit our attention to the foundation alone and carelessly build the walls and the roof with poor quality materials. For a house to be foolproof, it must have a rock-solid foundation, strong walls, and sound roofing. If not, when the rain pours, the rivers flood, and the wind blows, the house will collapse. And what a terrible fall it would be!
Similar dangers can threaten our spiritual edifice. Many people begin with a strong foundation of love of God and His Word. But as their life moves on, they get distracted from God, offer merely lip-service to Him, buy into the cheaper materials of the world, and go on building up their edifice on those convenient, world-friendly resources. Then, when trials and tragedies strike, their edifice crumbles, and its foundation becomes a stumbling block for them (1 Pet 2:7-8).
May the Word of God be the foundation, the walls, and the roof of our spiritual life. May God be above, beneath, before, behind, and around us.
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