Deuteronomy 11:18, 26-28, 32; Psalm 31:2-4, 17, 25; Romans 3:21-25, 28; Matthew 7:21-27)
Building our Spiritual House on Christ and his Word
“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” (Matthew 7:24)
This wonderful saying from Jesus is more than just a protection plan. He doesn’t want just to shield us in times of crisis. He wants to bless us every day—and he knows that his blessings will flow as we build our lives on his word.
So what kind of blessings can we expect? One is the knowledge of his unconditional love for us. Who are we that God would love us? We sin against him time and time again, but he never abandons us. His love doesn’t dry up when we fall into sin. In fact, it burns all the brighter as he waits eagerly for us to turn back to him.
Another blessing is forgiveness. As far as the east is from the west— that’s how far God throws our sins (Psalm 103:12). And that depth of forgiveness cleanses our consciences from all guilt and shame. It empowers us to love people, even our enemies, because we know how much God loves us. His forgiveness makes us into a source of strength to those in need and a beacon showing others the way back to him.
Another blessing is God’s mercy. Deeper than forgiveness for each individual sin, his mercy has to do with his compassion for us, his steadfastness and faithfulness toward us. It’s his entire disposition every time he looks at us—always wanting the best for us, always wanting to lift us up and draw us closer to his heart.
These are just a few of the blessings that we experience when we build our spiritual house on Christ and his word. Given the readings, today is a very good day to thank the Lord for laying such a strong foundation for you—and to tell him that you want to follow him with all your heart. So give him your life today, and watch as the blessings flow!
“Yes, Lord, I want to listen to you and obey your word. Come and be my rock and my foundation.”
Questions for Reflection
1. In the first reading, Moses offers the people a choice of a blessing or a curse – “a blessing for obeying the commandments of the Lord . . . a curse if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 11:26-27). How would you describe the blessings and curses that come from obeying and disobeying God’s commandments?
2. The responsorial psalm is an uplifting psalm that uses many terms to describe the Lord, for example, he is our rock of safety, our refuge, our deliverer, our stronghold, our rock, our fortress, and our hope. What do these terms mean to you? Which ones has the Lord actually demonstrated in your life?
3. St. Paul tells us in the second reading that “a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law” (Romans 3:28). However James tells us that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). How would you reconcile these two Scripture passages? What are the things in your life that tend to weaken your faith? What are the things in your life that strengthen your faith? How can you decrease the former, while increasing the latter?
4. In the Gospel, Jesus says that “everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand.” Why is this so?
5. The meditation lists the blessings we receive from the Lord when we listen to and obey his word including his unconditional love, his forgiveness, and his mercy. In what ways have you experienced these blessings? What are the obstacles in your life that keep you from experiencing them more deeply? What steps can you take to overcome them?
(The discussion questions were created by Maurice Blumberg, a Trustee of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men (http://www.nfcmusa.org/), and currently the Director of Partner Relations for Partners in Evangelism, (http://www.waupartners.org/), a Ministry of The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) to the Military, Prisoners, and women with crisis pregnancies. Maurice can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.)