Today’s Gospel Reading is the continuation of a series of excerpts from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Each part of this long discourse has something to teach us about human behavior and how it relates to the kingdom of heaven.
In this part of his sermon Jesus comments on aspects of human behavior, e.g. using titles, Lord, Lord, (or Good Teacher Lk. 18:18 another time) to make a good impression.
What Jesus was concerned about more than anything else was the importance of doing the will of God the Father.
This desire of Jesus for simplicity can be backed up by references in the books of the Prophets. I think of one from Micah, “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
The same theme can be found in the Gospels, expressed there in different words but with the same general meaning.
The rest of today’s Gospel lesson is a double parable; a house built upon rock which stands firm against a storm– in contrast with it is a house built on sand collapsing in the face of a storm.
Attention should be paid to the introductory sentences of each of these semi parables. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man etc. …. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man etc.….” (vv. 24 & 26)
These two parables are about using suitable material in the first part, and unsuitable material in the second part. But the real meaning is not about material. The deeper spiritual meaning here is proper preparation for doing the will of God the Father in heaven.
When any of us is faced with how to know the will of God, the measuring rod by which we can find the will of God, and do it, is love.
If we look to the Prophet Micah we can see justice, loving kindness and humility as key words. If we look in the Gospels we can see those as compassion and mutual love; loving God and loving one another. Using those key words or others like them, we find our way through prayer.
Can you recognize God’s will for you? Pray for it!
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