“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.“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!”
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.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus invites us to be like the wise builder, constructing our houses on solid ground. But what exactly does that mean? Always looking for clarity, I find St. Ignatius to be helpful here. He begins his Spiritual Exercises with a meditation, The First Principle and Foundation. In this exercise, Ignatius reminds us that “the goal of our life is to live with God forever. All things in this world are gifts of God…everything has the potential of calling forth in us a deeper response to our life in God.” (Paraphrased by David Fleming, SJ)
Nothing itself is intrinsically good or bad, it is the way in which we use the particular gifts God gives. Am I using God’s gifts to deepen our relationship, or obstruct it? Today might be a good day to walk around our houses with Christ and inspect the foundations.
Our only desire and our one choice should be this: I want and I choose what better leads me to God’s deepening God’s life in me.
—Conclusion of First Principle and Foundation, St. Ignatius of Loyola