Thursday, June 28, 2012

We usually know what we can do, but temptation shows us who we are

When tempted, invoke your Angel. he is more eager to help you than you are to be helped! Ignore the devil and do not be afraid of him: He trembles and flees at the sight of your Guardian Angel.--St. John Bosco

(Gospel Text Mt 7:21-29)
Jesus said to his disciples:
"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.
Many will say to me on that day,
'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?
Did we not drive out demons in your name?
Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?'
Then I will declare to them solemnly,
'I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.'

"Everyone who listens to 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 buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And 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.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined."

When Jesus finished these words,
the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority,
and not as their scribes.

When I read today’s Gospel I immediately thought of the children’s story, “The Three Little Pigs.” I know it sounds crazy, comparing the bible to a children’s book, but stick with me!

Once upon a time there were three little pigs. One pig built his house out of straw and when the wolf blew on it, the home fell over. The next pig built his house out of sticks. It was stronger than the straw house, but it was still blown over by the wolf. The final pig built his house out of bricks. His house was strong and even though the wolf blew and blew, the house was not ruined.

We can draw an analogy where we are the little pig, the house is our faith and the wolf is sin. The first pig has weak faith and is easily tempted into sin – it didn’t take much for the house to collapse under the wolf’s breath. The second pig has a moderate faith. He could withstand some temptations but not others and his home ultimately collapsed. The final pig had a strong faith. No matter how much he was tempted, he did not given in. His faith was stronger than the temptations and therefore his house was not ruined.

Jesus calls for us to have a strong faith so that we can enter the kingdom of heaven. He tells us to build our houses on rock instead of sand because rock houses can survive winds and floods – just like what is shown in the story of the three little pigs where the rock house survived. A straw house doesn’t see any trouble in sunny days but life isn’t always sunny. We all encounter loss, struggles and temptation on a daily basis – things that would ruin straw homes/faiths. That’s why we need to build our house of faith out of strong materials so that when we encounter hard times our faith can withstand.

Today I think we are called to evaluate our faith. Is our faith made out of sand or straw or is it built of rocks? In a storm of temptation or struggle could our house of faith withstand?

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