Thursday, December 4, 2014

“If we displease God, does it matter whom we please?

“In Gethsemane the holiest of all petitioners prayed three times that a certain cup might pass from Him. It did not.” - ― C.S. Lewis, The World's Last Night: And Other Essays

Gospel Text: (MT 7:21, 24-27)
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.

“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.”

Jesus told us plainly that if we do God’s will, we will enter heaven. Seems pretty simple, right? We hear it again and again in scripture and that repetition indicates its importance. Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed,” or Romans 8:27, “And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

So why is this so difficult to do?

It has been my experience that the one person most difficult to convince is usually our selves. We start out wanting to do the right thing—to please God. We want to trust him and know that what he has in store for us is far greater than what we could do for our selves. We want to believe that when we ask to hear from him, he will answer us. But then we get restless. Our expectations are for God to answer us on our terms, our timeline, and in line with our desires. When he doesn’t, then we choose our way because that is what we ultimately wanted anyways and it usually comes with some immediate (albeit temporary) satisfaction.

That is not what Jesus had in mind when he shared his wisdom. Doing the will of the Father is not always in line with our will. Following his will means being open to his direction, to wait patiently for his response, and to accept with a thankful heart the path he puts us on.

It is therefore necessary to listen and to do; in this way we build on rock and not on sand. How do I put what I listen to into action? Let's ask ourselves a few questions:

Does God and my fellow man really get my consideration?

Am I a convinced believer?

As to money — Do I share my goods out of solidarity with others?

As to culture — Do I contribute to the strengthening of human values in my country?

As to the growth of the universal good — Do I run away from the sins of omission and do I repent of my personal sins regularly?

As to apostolate — Do I look out for the eternal salvation of those around me?

In a word: — Am I a sensible person who, with works, builds the “house” of my life on Christ's rock?

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