Year A: 9th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Matthew 7:21-27
There is a very big difference between paying lip-service to something and really living it out - a difference that Jesus is illustrating today.
There are many people around who say that they are followers of Jesus - but whose lives do little to show they are. There are others who seem to do great things in Jesus’ name - and yet, Jesus is saying that they cannot be sure of entering the Kingdom of heaven.
The main prerequisite for entering the kingdom is to hear and act on the will of God.
Jesus offers the famous parable of two men setting out to build houses.
The first builds his house on rock - and, despite everything the weather and flash-floods can throw at it - it remains standing.
The second man builds his house on sand. This time, the raging winds and the swirling waters undermine the shallow foundations of the house and it collapses.
It is a dramatic illustration of the power of Jesus’ words - but salvation does not rest in hearing the words alone - we have to act on them.
The whole of this section of Matthew’s Gospel has been setting out what living in the Kingdom means. It is a way of living in which makes those who are meek, gentle, persecuted - and so on - feel at home. It is a way which allows goodness and good works to shine like lights to give glory to God the Father. It is a way that leads to a security that the world - and all it worries and demands can never give.
It is like building our lives on the rock of the Gospel - and, as the this section of the it draws to its close - specifically on the Kingdom values expressed in the Sermon on the Mount.
They are values that do not make sense to many people - but they are values which have endured for two thousand years - and which will endure to eternal life itself.
What does it mean for me?
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