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Matthew 7:21-29

The Word of God

"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. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?' Then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.' Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell--and great was its fall!" Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

Matthew 7:21-29
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • This is the grand finale of the Sermon on the Mount, a strong reminder that what counts is our interior life, our heart, and not our words. Jesus once more makes huge claims for himself: if I build my life on his word I can withstand the fiercest of problems and storms. Is there a word or words of Jesus that I consider the foundation of my life? I thank him for it, and ask him for his help.
    • The people were astounded at his teaching, because he taught them with authority, not like the scribes. The same with us: we are moved by the words of persons of real integrity, rather than by beautiful rhetoric that is not backed by deeds. I pray for the grace of discernment and of purity of heart.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • St. Ignatius wrote: "Love ought to manifest itself more by deeds than by words". This teaching comes close to that offered by Jesus in today's reading.
    • Ponder the two powerful metaphors used by Jesus: the house built on rock and the house built on sand. Where have I built my "house" (= my life) and what kind of foundations does it have? Am I a wise person or a foolish one?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus hits hard at every form of pretence. He has no time for it. Does he see any traces of pretence in me? Do I tell small lies? I ask him to remove my deceptiveness,
    • The humble people begin to discern the source of Jesus’ authority, and see his teachings as a benchmark for their own beliefs and practices. Lord, let you be the rock that supports my faith and my actions, so that I fear neither wind nor flood.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Introductions of guests of honour can be quite revealing of the presenter as well as the guest. Knowing about the person can lead to much information, but knowing the person is quite different as there is a personal quality to it. The message should be shown in action. Jesus showed us the way by living out what he said and taught. How would he introduce me?
    • Buildings need solid foundations. A sandy base is unreliable. The message applies to our faith lives, too, as we seek to engage more fully with Jesus. The word of God is the rock we are to build on. The deeper and more solid the foundation is, the more the house is secure. Knowing the Lord and his word helps us to recognise God’s way and to be open to God’s will for us. It helps us live and speak with conviction as Jesus did.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • You see charismatic preachers who can rouse a whole congregation to wave their arms, pray with tongues and chant in ecstasy. That is a blessing, a gift of God that lifts us out of ourselves. But it is empty and false if our lives do not reflect the Gospel, if we do not hear Jesus’ words and act on them.
    • The word of God is a constant of support and enlightenment in life. Jesus' wisdom is a rock of truth from which we can make decisions and commitments in life. To read slowly the word of God in prayer each day is to place ourselves on that solid footing which will give us both insight and compassion in all we do in our lives.
    • I may sometimes call Jesus, 'Lord'; I remember his telling me that I am not a servant but a friend. I take care that my prayer doesn't become a matter of dutiful routine but is time to be present with my companion.
    • It may be difficult to know if I am doing the will of God but, as I lay my life before God now, I am open to learning more of God’s desire for me. I receive the strength to work with God to change what I need to.