Thursday, December 4, 2014

First Thursday of Advent

“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 7:21,24-27

In today’s gospel we are reminded to be intentional about the foundation upon which we are building our lives. Are we building a life that can withstand the many storms that will inevitably come our way? Or are we building a life that is accepted by others, feels good, or is just the path we are already on? Sometimes I find that it actually can be difficult to tell. What if my intentions are good but at times my foundation is shaky? Does that mean I am on the wrong path, paying attention to the wrong things? Perhaps the intention of my foundation is good, it just needs strengthening.

Jesus reminds us that it will not be enough to listen to God and to say the right things to show that we believe. Instead Jesus points out that we must do in order to build lives on a foundation of rock. And isn’t it true that we already know this to be true with all others things in life? As an engineer I am continually surprised at how much I thought I knew when I theoretically understood how something worked, but am proven very wrong when I go and build it, or test it myself. In this hands-on process I always realize that I didn’t fully understand until I attempted to put my knowledge into action. I have found this to be true in so many other areas of my life as well. Do we not learn the best when we are teaching a peer, a child, a nephew, a student, or a parent something ourselves? Do we not build a greater understanding of the concept or the idea by putting it into action?
Jesus reminds us today that this is also true with our faith. By living our faith through every part of our lives we give ourselves the opportunity to struggle with it, to embrace it, to build it into the foundation of who we are. Jesus encourages that by doing we strengthen our foundation. We prepare ourselves for the challenges and opportunities of life.

Lord, may I build my life upon your promise by living my faith in all aspects of my life – at home, at work, with friends, at church. May I allow myself to be humbled by realizations and challenges that life will bring me so that I may more deeply and concretely follow you.

Reflected by Joan Ervin

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