“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 to us, in the Gospels, in the silence of our hearts, through our conscience, through the words of others, 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 the words he speaks 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 the words of Jesus and put them into action. We can hear and let them come in through our minds and enter our hearts, where we can then be transformed.
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 leads us up to his. Jesus has been doing just that in his Sermon on the Mount which we have been reflecting upon these past few weeks. If you are just coming in today or need a refresher, this gathering of teachings began in 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 antitheses (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 teachings of Jesus that we are to put into action if our house is to be built on solid rock. May we go back through chapters 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 St Irenaeus who learned from St Polycarp, who learned from the beloved Apostle John who learned from Jesus. St Irenaeus taught that 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: Building a firm foundation on the rock of Jesus!