9th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2011

6 March 2011

Deuteronomy 11:18.26-28.32
Romans 3:21-25.28
Matthew 7:21-27

Is my life built on rock or sand

Anyone wanting to construct a home or some other building must ensure that the foundation on which they build is solid. No point in building on marshy land or on sand. You need solid rock! And if you don’t have it naturally you must create it. That’s what all good builders do. If you don’t, you can rest assured that – in time – whatever you build will begin to have problems and may, in some cases, fall down!

Today’s Gospel is all part of the famous Sermon on the Mount (a gathering together of many teachings given by Jesus but which the Evangelist presents as if they were all presented by him on one single occasion).

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus explains what is demanded of those who want to follow him. Now, in the final part of the Sermon read today, Jesus is speaking of what will happen those who choose to follow that way and those who choose a different way. In other words, those who decide to act on the words of Jesus and those who decide to act differently. The first group decide to change their way to the Way of Jesus. And the others decide that the Way of Jesus is not their way and they continue to go a different way.

Those who decide to follow Jesus’ Way will be on solid rock; they will not follow the fickle popularity stakes or follow the latest fad.

Those who choose the other way are on sand, going with the flow of popular opinion and short-sighted solutions to complex problems etc.

The first group will be able to say ‘Lord. Lord’ as they enter the Kingdom of heaven because their lives have been lived in accordance with the principles of the Sermon on the Mount (merciful, forgiving, humble…).

The second group who seek to enter heaven by calling out ‘Lord, Lord’ will not do so because the life they have lived up to now is alien to the type of life in heaven. They would be alienated if they were to enter the Kingdom of heaven. So they have decided to enter a different place.

Which type of builder are you? Easy to say that you will build your life on Christian principles… but will you really battle for Christ against the many false messages which surround us today? Or will you keep your head down and try to ‘sneak along’ in your Christian life but not really doing anything much for Christ?

The choice is yours!

Loving God, fill us with the fire of your Holy Spirit so that we may profess our Christian faith in every situation in which we find ourselves. Loosen our tongue to speak your word and to proclaim the Way of Christ as the only way to lasting peace and justice in our society. Amen.

Martin Kavanagh SMA