Subj: MATTHEW 7:21, 24-27: THURSDAY'S GOSPEL FOR REFLECTION
Date: 12/2/98 12:13:06 AM Pacific Standard Time
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Manuel Tuazon)
[Note: The scheduled Reading for today, Isaiah 26:1-6, is taken from
the Old Testament. The "Navarre Bible: Texts and Commentaries" is
currently available in the New Testament only. Therefore, only today's
Gospel and its commentary are being posted.]
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)
For: Thursday, December 3, 1998
1st Week of Advent
From: Matthew 7:21, 24-27
Doing the Will of God
(Jesus said to His disciples,)  "Not every one who says to Me,
`Lord, Lord,' shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the
will of My Father who is in Heaven.
Building on Rock
 "Every one then who hears these words of Mine and does them will
be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock;  and the
rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that
house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
And every one who hears these words of Mine and does not do them
will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand;  and
the rain fell, and the floods came, and winds blew and beat against
that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it."
21-23. To be genuine, prayer must be accompanied by a persevering
effort to do God's will. Similarly, in order to do His will it is not
enough to speak about the things of God: there must be consistency
between what one preaches--what one says--and what one does: "The
Kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power" (1 Corinthians
4:20); "Be doers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving yourselves"
Christians, "holding loyally to the Gospel, enriched by its resources,
and joining forces with all who love and practise justice, have
shouldered a weighty task on earth and they must render an account of
it to Him who will judge all men on the last day. Not every one who
says `Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but those who do
the will of the Father, and who manfully put their hands to the work"
(Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 93).
To enter the Kingdom of Heaven, to be holy, it is not enough, then, to
speak eloquently about holiness. One has to practise what one
preaches, to produce fruit which accords with one's words. Fray Luis
de Leon puts it very graphically: "Notice that to be a good Christian
it is not enough just to pray and fast and hear Mass; God must find you
faithful, like another Job or Abraham, in times of tribulation" ("Guide
for Sinners", Book 1, Part 2, Chapter 21).
Even if a person exercises an ecclesiastical ministry that does not
assure his holiness; he needs to practice the virtues he preaches.
Besides, we know from experience that any Christian (clerical,
religious or lay) who does not strive to act in accordance with the
demands of the faith he professes, begins to weaken in his faith and
eventually parts company also with the teaching of the Church. Anyone
who does not live in accordance with what he says, ends up saying
things which are contrary to faith.
The authority with which Jesus speaks in these verses reveals Him as
sovereign Judge of the living and the dead. No Old Testament prophet
ever spoke with this authority.
22. "That day": a technical formula in biblical language meaning the
day of the Judgment of the Lord or the Last Judgment.
23. This passage refers to the Judgment where Jesus will be the Judge.
The sacred text uses a verb which means the public proclamation of a
truth. Since in this case Jesus Christ is the Judge who makes the
declaration, it takes the form of a judicial sentence.
24-27. These verses constitute the positive side of the previous
passage. A person who tries to put Christ's teaching into practice,
even if he experiences personal difficulties or lives during times of
upheaval in the life of the Church or is surrounded by error, will stay
firm in the faith, like the wise man who builds his house on rock.
Also, if we are to stay strong in times of difficulty, we need, when
things are calm and peaceful, to accept little contradictions with a
good grace, to be very refined in our relationship with God and with
others, and to perform the duties of our state in life in a spirit of
loyalty and abnegation. By acting in this way we are laying down a
good foundation, maintaining the edifice of our spiritual life and
repairing any cracks which make their appearance.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text
taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentary
made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of
Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock,
Co. Dublin, Ireland. Printed in Hungary.
"The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries" is currently available in
the New Testament version only.
"Nihil Obstat": Stephen J. Greene, "Censor Deputatus".
"Imprimi Potest": J. O'Carroll, Diocesan Administrator, 15 October
Reprinted with permission from the U.S. publisher (see below).
If you feel inspired, become a part of this apostolate by sharing this
e-mail or a printed copy with a relative or a friend or placing the
copy or copies in a bookrack at a church (with the pastor's permission,
if possible). May our good Lord richly bless you for your love of
neighbor and please remember this ("Mustard Seed") apostolate in your
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