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!”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
While being a conversationalist is considered a gift, being a “talker” is not. The latter implies a person of words, yet with little or no subsequent action. In today’s Gospel, we could put the person who utters, “Lord, Lord,” in the “talker” category—a person of words, but little follow-through. This person may listen, but does not act. He/she builds upon sand.
St. Ignatius was resolute and determined to seek God’s way and glory—uttering many words about his holy desires for the Lord, but he also was one who did his best to act upon his desires, whether it was going to the Holy Land on pilgrimage, pursuing studies at an advanced age, helping souls through giving the Exercises, founding with others the Society of Jesus, discerning the greater apostolic good, offering God his liberty, etc. He built upon rock.
What’s one holy desire we can follow through on in Advent? May we act on it, and thus do our best to be more than a mere “talker.”
—Richard Baumann, S.J. lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya as co-director of the African Tertianship program–a six-month spiritual renewal program for Jesuits prior to their pronouncing final vows.
Lord, you are my rock of security, my guarantee of life everlasting, my loving Father who cannot be outdone in faithfulness and generosity. While calamity may strike us, while others may
disappoint us, and life can drop us to our knees, your abiding presence sustains our hope. Regardless of the challenges before us, we rest in your constancy. May we be your voice of love for those searching for meaning and seeking stability in uncertain times.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!