Do you remember a few summers ago when they had all that rain and flooding in Quebec? It was a real disaster. Brooks became swollen rivers, dams collapsed, whole towns were wiped out. There was a picture in newspapers all across the country that became quite famous. The picture was of a small white house sitting on a large rock. All the topsoil had been washed away but the house stood firm. All along the street other houses had been swept away – one house survived the flood, it was built on rock.
In today’s gospel we’ve heard a basic teaching of Jesus. He taught it at what is the end of what is called the “Great Sermon” in which He taught us the beatitudes, the Our Father, the Golden Rule. We could almost say Jesus said, “Now to sum it all up, it is not those who say to me, Lord, Lord, who will enter the kingdom, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven.”
Jesus uses the example of how houses are built, on rock or on sand and shows the results of such foundations when floods rise and winds blow. Houses with sand as their foundation are swept away, they don’t have a chance. Houses with rock as their foundation stand as firm as the rock on which they were built.
Those who built their lives on the lip service of sand will hear the frightful words, “depart from me, I never knew you.” It is those who built their lives on the rock of fidelity who will withstand and survive all the storms life throws their way and be faithful to Him to the end.
There is a prayer that begins one of the weekday Masses that goes, “What we profess with our lips may we live in our lives. We’ve all heard the saying “if you talk the talk then walk the walk.” Remember the words Liza sings in My Fair Lady? “Words, words, words, I’m so of words, don’t speak of love, show me, show me now.” Could Christ be saying these words to us right now? Don’t speak of love, show me, show me now. Show me your love, show me you forgiveness, show me your compassion, in the way you treat and relate to a member of your family, a co-worker, a neighbour or a stranger. Don’t speak of love, show me, show me now in the way you reach out and care for someone in need, in the way you welcome a stranger, in the way respect a person of a different faith or culture or life style. Don’t speak of love, show me, show me now in the way you are willing to heal past hurts, in the way you try to be reconciled with someone who disappointed you, hurt you, even betrayed you. Show me, show me now.
Are our lives as Christians lived on the sands of lip service or do we try and try again to live our lives on the rock foundation of fidelity, even though we may fail at times? As Christian men and women do we put our money where our mouth is? This is the righteousness St. Paul writes about in our second reading. It comes from a true, life giving relationship with God in and through a true, life giving relationship with others. Don’t speak of love, show me, show me now.
As we continue to celebrate this Eucharist we can pray for ourselves and for each other, that in our own struggles to live our lives as Christian men and women we will be blessed to hear the word of God and live it. That we will not only speak of love we will show love in the way we relate to all those who come into our lives each day.