The Eternal Rock Upon Which We Build
Actions speak louder than words...but not nearly as often.” ~ Mark Twain
Perhaps it’s merely a coincidence, but it would appear as though whenever the daily mass readings draw upon the rich symbolism of the rock as a metaphor for a firm faith foundation, they do so in pairs. I wrote about it the last time it happened back in mid-August https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Rocks-Aplenty and we encounter this dual reference in both our Reading (Isaiah 26:4-6) as well as our Gospel (Matthew 7:21, 24-27) again today.
“Trust to the Lord forever,” the Prophet Isaiah implores us, “For the Lord is an eternal Rock. He humbles those in high places, and the lofty city he brings down.” This passage dovetails perfectly with the lead-in to today’s Gospel, where Jesus has this to say in the opening passage 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.” (Matthew 7:21). The next paragraph speaks to the importance of putting the message of the Gospel into play, acting upon it if you will.
“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” Jesus tells them, “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."
It’s important to point out that both builders in this parable experience the rain and the floods that symbolize the multitude of trials, temptations, heartbreak, setbacks and difficulties at the surface of our lives. No one is immune to those I think we can all agree on that. But if your foundation is built on faith and hope in God, if you live in a state of joyful peace, the storms and floods will come and may even rampage, but they cannot and will destroy you.
Those virtues to be sought; faith, hope, joy and peace may sound familiar. They each represent a virtue to be pursued during Advent. As a matter of fact, we light a new candle on the Advent Wreath every week for each one of them, symbolic of our search to acquire them, aided by the light of God’s grace, as the birth of our Savior draws near. And nearer indeed does he draw. Oh come let us adore him.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found, call him while he is near.” ~ Isaiah 55:6
(For more on these Readings, please revisit my Reflection from last year: https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Daily-Mass-Reflections-126)