We pray + in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (7:21, 24-27)
Jesus said to his disciples: 'Not everyone who say to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does he will of my Father in heaven.
Everyone who listens to 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 buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.'
The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Lord!
Reflection: Last Sunday I preached that Advent was not only about waiting and watching, but also about responding. Today's Gospel reading focuses in on the responding part. Jesus says that it's one thing to hear His words about Love and Service and Prayer and Repentance, it's another to act on them. He goes so far as to demonstrate what happens to someone who hears and responds to His words and one who doesn't. And there is a great difference between the two. I guess it can best be summed up by a Christian philosopher and writer by the name of C.S. Lewis: "Christianity is not a spectator sport."
So, a question from Jesus today: what I am doing, how am I responding, to Jesus's invitation to act on his call to Love and Service and Prayer and Repentance? Do I want to get better at responding? What I can start doing today that will show Jesus I am acting on and responding to His Word?
We pray: Stir up your Power, O Lord, and come to our help with mighty strength, that what our sins impede the grace of your mercy may hasten. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.
In the name + of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.