Thursday, March 3, 2011

From the ground up

Sunday, March 6, 2011
Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time—A

Deuteronomy: 11:18, 26-28, 32
Romans 3: 21-25, 28
Matthew 7:21-27

Take “these words of mine” into your very being, Moses tells the ancient Israelites. Listen to “these words of mine” and act on them, Jesus tells the crowds. It is no accident that this same phrase is used by both Moses, who prefigures Christ, and Jesus in addressing their followers—and us today. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh, and by giving us his very body and blood on the cross, his words become ours, and should become the very foundation of our daily lives.

If you’ve ever watched a house being built, you know that it seems to take a considerable amount of time to prepare the ground and set the foundation. Once that is accomplished, the rest of the building seems to rise relatively quickly. When it is completed, however, the work doesn’t end. The home still requires regular maintenance and occasional repairs if it is to withstand the rains, floods, and winds of life.

So it is with our souls, and two things are key. First, the strength of the foundation determines the stability of the entire structure. It must be set solidly on rock, not shifting sand. Secondly, the inner life of the structure must be filled with the grace of faith in Jesus of which St. Paul speaks in the second reading. One is not opposed to the other. Faith must animate our works, and our works must build our faith.

As we prepare this week to begin the season of Lent, let us take these words of Christ to heart, so that we remain set solidly on rock without fear of collapsing amid the storms of life.

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