7 December
Mt 7:21, 24-27

"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 then who hears 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 beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell--and great was its fall!"

“I love you, Lord, my strength, / My rock, my fortress, my saviour. / My God is the rock where I take refuge…” (Psalm 17).  These are strong images of God, and there are times when that is just what we need.  It is when we feel most insecure that we long for security and safety.  The little orphan girl always wept when they sang Rock of Ages.  Psalm 17 continues: “The waves of death rose about me; / The torrents of destruction assailed me.”  That is why the writer of the psalm calls God a rock and a fortress. 

A person who feels powerless calls on a God of power, and that seems all right.  But a person who feels powerful and calls on a God of power is very likely to be calling on just a bigger version of himself.  (That was Nietzsche’s understanding of theology.)   So when you feel strong and healthy, use soft or fluid images of God.  There are many of them in the Scriptures.

Sand is made of rock, but it has the characteristics of a fluid.  As a foundation for a house, it doesn’t have the best of both; it has the worst of both.  It is neither strong nor weak, neither hard nor soft, neither fixed nor unfixed. 

Sand reminds me of words.  Words give the impression of fixity, but they pour like sand; and they are as numerous as grains of sand.  They are no foundation for a life.  “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.”  Our life is not a spectacle to be commented on but a reality to be lived with gusto.  Meister Eckhart wrote, “When St Paul had done a lot of talking to the Lord, and the Lord had reasoned much with him, that produced nothing, until he surrendered his will, and said: ‘Lord, what do you want me to do?’  Then the Lord showed him clearly what he ought to do.  So too, when the angel appeared to our Lady, nothing either she or he had to say would ever have made her the Mother of God, but as soon as she gave up her own will, at that moment she became a true mother of the everlasting Word and she conceived God immediately, who became her Son by nature.  Nor can anything make a true human being except giving up one’s will.”

 
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This page gives a very brief commentary by Donagh O’Shea on the gospel reading for each day of the month. 

 

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