“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit;for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
A church-goer wrote a letter to a newspaper editor, complaining that it made no sense to attend church every Sunday. “I’ve gone for 30 years now,” he wrote, “and over that time I’ve probably heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them. So I think I’m wasting time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving all those sermons.”
This started a real controversy in the “letters to the editor” column, much to the delight of the paper’s editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
“I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me I cannot recall the menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: they all nourished our family and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today.”
When you are down to nothing, God is up to something. Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible. It’s all about building your house on rock!
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
If the Lord does not build a house,
then in vain do the builders labor.
And in vain does the watchman stand his guard,
if the Lord is not his help.
If the Lord is not his help.
—Dan Schutte, from Earthen Vessels, © St. Louis Jesuits, 1975.