Build upon a life of faith – Br. Michael Hardgrove

Matthew 7:21-27

In the Gospel today, Jesus exhorts both the crowd and his disciples to live a life of faith that is “founded on rock.” The analogy that Jesus gives us is to build the foundation of one’s house upon the solid rock which lays far beneath the softer levels of sandstone above it. Jesus is telling us that so much of what we believe holds up and maintains our lives and our societies, are in fact nothing more than shifting sands, that we must dig past, deeper, and deeper, until we reach the solid core of God’s deep love for us; the true source of salvation, of unity, and of life everlasting. This is the rock upon which Jesus calls us to trust in, to build our life of faith on.

Faith, is anything but easy. In this world that has fallen so far from God’s original plan of peace, generosity, and unity – where the innocent suffer exploitation and oppression, where war, violence, and abject cruelty are the lived experiences of the majority of God’s children – it’s easy to lose hope. When we feel our faith lacking, when we feel that we can’t trust in Jesus’ promise of liberation for the oppressed, when we feel hopelessness as we look at the state of the world, we must keep digging. When we read the newspaper, and our senses tell us, surely God is not here, we must maintain our faith in the Good News of Jesus Christ. If we fall prey to hopelessness, how can He use us to build up His kingdom which is to come? He needs us to fulfill His earthly mission; to continue His work.

Faith in the Gospel means that we take Jesus at His word; that we truly trust in His teachings, and apply them to our lives. The path of nonviolence, praying for one’s enemies, humility, non-judgmentalism, feeding and clothing the poor, these concrete moral imperatives bind us to one another and to Jesus Christ, in a community of faith. These concrete actions are the hard work upon which we build on God’s love, so that our prayer life merges with our lived experience. We are not powerless. There is always hope because we believe in Jesus Christ. The world we long for is the world that Jesus seeks to create through us – a world of peace, of justice, of the liberation of mankind. This is not wishful thinking: it’s His promise to us.

Living a life of faith is difficult, yet Jesus assures us that He is with us, and that to trust in him, and carry out the Will of God, will result in our salvation. Trust in Christ: cling fast to His Gospel. We must trust that our deep and abiding faith in Christ cannot fail us. Faith in Christ’s message is our rock and salvation, the foundation upon which we build our lives as believers. Lord Jesus, we pray for the grace to truly hear your voice in our lives, that we may respond with a life of steadfast faith in your Gospel, and in-so-doing, carry out your will in the world. Amen

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