The WORD in Other Words by Fr Cyril Ortega SVD (Philippines)
Thursday Week 12 OT, Gn 16:1-12, 15-16 or 16:6b-12, 15-16, Mt 7:21-29
Jesus offers a provocative statement that sharpens the discussion regarding true discipleship. “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who actually does the will of my Father…” In other words, faith without works is dead. For Jesus, it is the manner in which life is lived out that demonstrates whether or not someone is honestly one of his people, his true disciples. Words, apparently, do not matter that much.
This is a powerful passage that gets at the heart of Jesus’ message: to be his follower means to render actions as the artifacts of the inner life of faith.
Jesus closes the Sermon on the Mount with an analogy of two people and the houses they have chosen to build. One person hears Jesus‘ words and acts on them, putting them into practice. He is like a house that has been built on a rock. Its foundation is strong and secure and can withstand any assault. The other person hears Jesus‘ words and doesn‘t act on them. He is like a house built on sand. Its foundation is weak and unstable and will eventually be destroyed by a storm. The analogy summarizes the entire Sermon on the Mount.
The message is clear: discipleship occurs within the milieu of daily life. Becoming a follower of Jesus is marked by a willingness to live one‘s life according to the values and beliefs of God‘s Kingdom.