ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK, I STAND. WHAT ABOUT YOU?
First Reading: 2 Kings 24:8-17
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 78(79):1-5,8-9
Gospel Reading: Matthew 7:21-29
The 19th-century Christian hymn: “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less” written by Edward Mote in 1834 (being the best known of his hymns) refers to the Parable of the Wise and the Foolish Builders (see. Mt. 7:24-27), in connection with the metaphor of Christ as the Spiritual Rock (see 1 Corinthians 10:4). The refrain of that hymn: “On Christ, the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand…” can be said to summarize our today’s message.
For some time now, we have been listening to Christ’s Sermon on the mount. Today, in rounding up his sermon, he encourages us not only to listen to his words, but also to act on them. For Jesus, when we act on his words; that is, putting them into practice, we become established on him, the solid rock (foundation) of our spiritual life. Recalling the words of Christ, “Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!” Likewise, the first reading reflects King Jehoiachin as the “stupid man” who established his kingdom on sand. We are told that he did not obey the commands of God but committed atrocities before the Lord as his father did, consequently leading to the collapse of the southern kingdom (Judah) – The Babylonian exile.
Apparently, we have heard and seen cases of collapsed structures/buildings either during construction or shortly after construction, and sometimes also affecting other lives and properties around, owing to the poor building materials, resulting in a weak foundation, or building the structure on the wrong site/location where it shouldn’t have been built at first, of which after experiencing erosion or heavy storm, etc., it readily collapses. The same applies to our spiritual lives as well. If we do not live out the Word of God we hear on a daily basis, then we would be resting on a weak foundation (sinking sand), heading for a spiritual collapse in times of adversities, trials, tribulations, etc., and probably affecting the spiritual lives of those around us. The reverse would be the case if we put God’s Word into practice; here, we would be established upon Christ the Solid Rock, and remain firm in the time of adversities and trials.
For the so many times that we had failed to establish our lives on Christ, the Solid Rock, we are called to pray like the Psalmist of the day: “O God our saviour, come to our help. Come for the sake of the glory of your name. O Lord our God, forgive us our sins; rescue us for the sake of your name.”
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Vila Sabrina, São Paulo, Brazil
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