07 December 2012


Yesterday's Gospel reading:

"Jesus said to his disciples:
'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 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.'"
Matthew 7:21, 24-27

While Father was reading the passage at Mass, into my mind entered:

"And I say to thee: That thou art Peter;
and upon this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Matthew 16:18

I never made this connection before but now it seems to make a lot of sense. These passages inspired two thoughts. Not everyone who says, "Lord, Lord," will enter the Kingdom. People fall away from God. People routinely choose sin over God each day. But a lot of the time, the same people don't make reparation, sometimes because they think they don't need to. They think, "Sure, I did something wrong, but I'm human. I'm a sinner. Jesus still loves me. It's okay."

But does that make sense? Would we want a God who accepts our disobedience? Of course not! And we don't: after Adam and Eve disobeyed God, He didn't laugh it off or send them a "nbd" text message. Adam and Eve were punished for their sin, which was exactly what they deserved.

So who can enter the Kingdom? The one who does the will of the Father.

Throughout this journey I have become further convinced that the best way for me to do the will of the Father is to become Catholic, at that most basic levelbeing convinced I should convertand at other levels which encourage new ways to do God's willparticipating in the Sacraments, learning about and imitating the saints....

The reason the idea of a rock stands out so much to me is because the latter passage is a key verse in communicating the institution of the Church and Peter as its first Pope. How does this relate to chapter seven? Whoever listens and acts is wise. Whoever listens and acts according to Jesus' words is wise. If Christ entrusted Peter with the keys to the Kingdom (Matthew 16:19) and established him as the rock of His church, how could I decide for myself what is wise? I would be like the fool who built his house on sand, who put all my trust in a shaky foundation, which is any foundation separate from Christ's Church.

This Sunday will be the Rite of Acceptance for those in RCIA who want to present themselves to the church as Catechumens (unbaptized) or Candidates (baptized). I will stand at the front of the church and express my desire to be accepted as a candidate for catechetical instruction leading to Confirmation and Eucharist. I will be prayed for by the congregation. It is one step closer to joining the Church fully and I at once feel humbled at the invitation given to me and in anticipation for what is to come next year.

I like to think about what Easter Vigil will be like. I often think I will be too nervous for words or even standing. I think I will fall to my knees for the Eucharist and never be able to stand again, so floored by the mercy of Jesus' body, blood, soul and divinity given to me. I imagine my heart will nearly explode with thankfulness for all that has brought me to the Church and with joy and love for Him who loves me enough to welcome me. Maybe this Sunday will be a taste of that day, of the freedom which comes from listening and acting on Jesus' word.

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