“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock” (Mt 7:24).

Jesus speaks. His words are recorded in the Gospels, Jesus speaks in the silence of our hearts, he speaks to us through our conscience, Jesus is present where two or three gather in his name, Jesus speaks through the words of others, Jesus speaks in our daily activities, and through creation which has been loved into existence through collaboration with his Father and the Holy Spirit.

We can be unaware of his word spoken among us, we can hear his words but not listen, hear his words but ignore them, listen but not act upon them, or we can do with his words as Jesus encourages us to do. We can listen to his words and put them into action. We can hear the words of Jesus and let them come in through our mind and enter our heart, where we can then be transformed.

St Irenaeus, whose feast we celebrate today, said that Jesus became one with us so that we can become one with him. Not one with us, so that we can know about Jesus. Not one with us, so that we can say that we prophesy, cast out demons, do mighty works, cite Bible chapter and verse to show our knowledge or justify our behavior in his name. One with us so that we can become one with him. 

Jesus meets us on our level and lifts us up to his. Jesus has been doing just that in his Sermon on the Mount which we have been reflecting on these past few weeks. If you are just coming in today or need a refresher, this gathering of teachings began at chapter five of Matthew and takes us up to today with chapter seven. Jesus presented us with the Beatitudes, that we are called to be salt and light, he built on the law and the prophets by giving us the six antithesis (You have heard it said, but I say to you…), he taught us to pray the Our Father, that we are to depend and place our trust in God and not the things of this world, we are to refrain from judging others, we are not to cast our pearls before swine, we are to do to others as we would have them do to us, we are to seek to enter through the narrow gate, and to be aware of false prophets.

These are but just some of the words of Jesus that we are to put into action if our house is to be built on solid rock. May we go back through chapter five, six, and seven of Matthew and see which teaching Jesus is leading us to ponder, meditate upon, and put into action.

If this list is a bit overwhelming, let us start with what St Irenaeus taught us. Jesus became one with us so that we can become one with him. Jesus entered our humanity so that we can participate in his divinity. Jesus invites us to be in relationship with him, to know him, so that we can know his Father, so that we can be one as Jesus and the Father is one. Jesus loves us as we are, and for who we are, right now at this very moment. Jesus loves us more than we can ever imagine. May we receive his love as we would receive a loving embrace, stay with it, savor it, so to return his love, by loving each other as he has loved us.

Photo: Listening to the words of Jesus – models of kindness!

Link for the Mass reading for Thursday, June 28, 2018:





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