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(Part 13)


December 5, 2019

Today’s readings:
Isaiah 26:1-6
Psalm 118:1,8-9,19-21,25-27
Matthew 7:21,24-27

Today’s gospel is where we have derived our theme for next year 2020. It is about the two foundations, on whether we build on rock or on sand. We of course build on the Rock that is Christ. Unfortunately, many Christians today build on sand.

There are many who are nominal Christians. They carry the name Christian, they might even profess Christ, but they do not live Christ. They will be surprised at the final judgment when they are refused entry into heaven. “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.” (Mt 7:21).How do we enter heaven? We must do the will of God. We must be obedient to Christ. We must be docile to the Holy Spirit.

There are many who trust not in God but in the workings of man. These are those Christians who have become secularized. They are those who are focused on man rather than God. They conform to the culture of the age. They rely on human strength and resources rather than putting their lives in the hands of God. They look to defeating the works of the enemy through human values, such as political correctness.They are founded on sand. “Better to take refuge in the Lord than to put one’s trust in mortals. Better to take refuge in the Lord than to put one’s trust in princes.” (Ps 118:8-9).

There are those who look to rely on their own personal strengths and abilities, even among those who serve in the Church. Leaders do not act as servants. Leaders look to power, position and perquisites. They have their own agenda, priorities and preferences. When they pray, it is to ask God to confirm their own desires. But only Jesus shows us the way. Only in Jesus can we overcome and attain the victory as holy warriors. Only in Jesus can we tap on to the strength of the Spirt. “A strong city have we; he sets up victory as our walls and ramparts.” (Is 26:1b).

There are those who look to salvation through human institutions and efforts. For peace in the world they look to the United Nations. For unity among peoples they look to acceptance of all religions as equal. For justice they look to humanitarian work and focus on things like climate change, all of which oftentimes promote aspects of the culture of D.E.A.T.H. For prosperity they look to the designs of man. They will be very disappointed. Only in Jesus can we find true peace (shalom). “With firm purpose you maintain peace; in peace, because of our trust in you.” (Is 26:3). Only in Jesus can we find true social justice and care for the poor. “He humbles those who dwell on high, the lofty city he brings down, brings it down to the ground, levels it to the dust. The feet of the needy trample on it­the feet of the poor.” (Is 26:5-6). Only is Jesus is salvation. “Lord, grant salvation!” (Ps 118:25a). And for those who live God’s covenant, they will enjoy bountiful blessings, including prosperity, that come from God. “Lord, grant good fortune!” (Ps 118:25b).

There are those who listen to false messiahs. They are the promoters of sects, cults, the New Age, Freemasonry, even Satanism. These false messiahs come in the name of false gods. But there is only one true God, and there is only one true Lord and Master, and that is Jesus. Only is his name can we be blessed. “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Ps 118:26a).

How do we enter heaven? We must not build on sand. We are to live lives of holiness and righteousness. “Open the gates of righteousness; I will enter and thank the Lord. This is the Lord’s own gate, through it the righteous enter.” (Ps 118:19-20). We are to look to and trust only in God. “Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal Rock.” (Is 26:4). A Rock indeed. We must be founded on the Rock that is Christ.

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