Build up the house

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Mt 7:21,24-27

Jesus said to his disciples, “It is not anyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!”

It is imperative that we live out our faith!

If we sincerely seek the Will of the Father and if this becomes our nourishment – as it was for Jesus – we can live on a firm foundation, even in the midst of all the upheavals of our earthly existence: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to carry out his work” (Jn 4:34).

We cannot, then, remain in a pious desire to do the Will of God on a general level; but we have to work concretely on ourselves, so that, with God’s help, we can put aside everything that hinders the fulfillment of the Lord’s Will and receive that which helps us to put it into practice.

Sometimes it happens that people are afraid to ask themselves what is the Will of God in a concrete situation. They fear that what the Lord wants might be different from what they themselves desire.

Indeed, it is possible that this is the case, because our desires and illusions, as well as our “dreams” of happiness, do not necessarily correspond to God’s Will. Paradoxically, then, we feel threatened by the Lord and evade Him. Thus, the ancient temptation of Paradise easily reappears, when the Devil approached man and gave him to understand that God would be depriving him of something desirable; namely, the knowledge of good and evil, and that, therefore, he would not be granting him something that would be good for him (cf. Gen 3:1-5).

This is a very subtle temptation, which undermines trust in God as our loving Father. And if this trust is weakened, it easily happens that, in some areas, we begin to order our life according to our own desires, because in them we intend to fulfill our expectations of happiness and we do not want them to be called into question.

Therefore, trust in God is elementary in order to be able to ask ourselves, free of fear, what His Will is, particularly in those situations that are confusing to us, that require sacrifice or in which important decisions have to be made.

If trust in God and, consequently, love for Him increases, obedience will be less and less marked by that difficult renunciation of one’s own interests and will acquire more of the ease and naturalness that are proper to true love. Let us recall the saying of the venerable Anne de Guigné: “Nothing is difficult when one loves God.”

In many passages, Sacred Scripture encourages us to trust in God, by showing us His marvelous deeds, by telling us of the countless times He rescued His people, and by making us see how much He loves us. In this way man learns to understand the love of the Father, while the true image of God and the close relationship with Him is re-established.

We can ask for trust in God, but we must also do our part to make it grow. In this sense, we do not only count on the written Word of God; we must also consider and internalize the many situations in our lives in which the Lord protected us, in which He guided us according to His Will, which was not always as we had imagined beforehand. We can also meditate on the situations of suffering and the crosses that we have borne or, better to say, that the Lord has borne with us and for us. In this way our confidence will grow!

If this trust grows in us more and more, the Holy Spirit will always be able to speak to us, to exhort us to fulfill the Will of God and to overcome with our cooperation the obstacles that still prevent us from doing so. To the extent that the gift of piety, which is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, becomes effective in us, we will yearn to really know the Will of God and will want to put it into practice.

As we fulfill the Lord’s Will day by day, our love and trust in Him grows, and His Will becomes our nourishment. And just as in our earthly life we rejoice again and again when mealtime arrives, so the joy of living each day in the Will of God will grow within us.

In addition to the “general” Will of God, which we discover in Sacred Scripture, through the Magisterium of the Church we must also perceive the more subtle guidance of our inner Teacher, the Holy Spirit. It is He who advises us in concrete situations, helping us to recognize what God’s Will is and giving us the strength to put it into practice even in difficult circumstances.

If the Lord thus becomes our foundation, then our house will be built on rock and the storms will not be able to bring it down.

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