HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK OF THE ADVENT
THEME: Jesus said to his disciples: ‘It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven.
BY: Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
*FROM OUR FIRST READING*
In our first reading today, we heard of the words of the Lord speaking to His people through Isaiah regarding what He will do to them, in providing for them, protecting them and leading them into glory, rescuing them from their troubles and their enemies. They shall once again see happiness and true joy through God’s providence and love. Back then, during the time of the ministry and work of the prophet Isaiah, the people of God left in the land of Judah, the southern half of the once united kingdom of Israel, were facing great trials and challenges, as their enemies rose up all around them, threatening them and drowning them by their great power. Yet, the Lord reassured them that if they remained firm in their faith in Him and trusted in Him, God will always be by their side and they will be saved in the end.
*FROM OUR GOSPEL READING*
Jesus in today’s gospel passage speaks about two builders. One builds his house upon the solid rock while the other builds his house on sand. Jesus praises the one who builds his house on rock. And what is this rock? The rock is of course Himself and His teachings, His words, His life and His examples. But listening to His word or by merely reading it is not enough, what is required also which is equally important with reading, is acting. In the beginning of this gospel passage Jesus says: 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. In this statement of Jesus, He is most probably saying to us that entrance into the kingdom is only for those who do the will of the Father. On the Day of Judgment the morally corrupt prophets and miracle workers will be rejected by Jesus.
How do we apply this teaching of Jesus?
Our lives can be going along fine for a period of time and then some severe storm hits us unexpectedly. We find ourselves in a kind of a whirlwind that throws everything out of kilter. Jesus is saying that we need to prepare for that scenario. Our lives need the kind of foundation that will enable us to survive such traumatic experiences. Jesus offers himself as that foundation. If we listen to his words and try to live them every day of our lives, we will be putting down a foundation that will stand to us when the storms come. We don’t wait for the storm to come to start looking for a foundation. The laying of a foundation that gives us something of God’s own strength is something we do every day, little by little, by opening our lives to the Lord’s word and allowing it to shape who we are and all we say and do.
Happy Blessed New Month of December.
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