December 6, 2018 – THURSDAY, 1ST Week of Advent
St. Nicholas, Bishop
Is 26: 1 - 6 / Mt 7: 21, 24 – 27
Born in present-day Turkey, St. Nicholas (270- 343), Bishop of Myra in Asia Minor, is known as St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker due to the many miracles attributed to his intercession. He is popularized as Santa Claus and is the Patron of Russia, Greece, Sicily and Lorraine.
FROM THE 1ST READING: Is 26: 2- 4
Let the righteous nation enter, she who is firm in faithfulness. You keep in perfect peace the one of steadfast mind, the one who trusts in you. Trust in Yahweh forever for Yahweh is an everlasting Rock.
GOSPEL READING: Mt 7: 21, 24- 27
Jesus said to his disciples, "Not everyone who says to me: Lord! Lord! will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my heavenly Father.
"So, then, anyone who hears these words of mine and acts accordingly is like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain poured, the rivers flooded, and the wind blew and struck that house, but it did not collapse because it was built on rock. But anyone who hears these words of mine and does not act accordingly is like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain poured, the rivers flooded and the wind blew and struck that house; it collapsed and what a terrible fall that was!"
In the first reading the prophet Isaiah assures that God will protect and grant peace to those who trust in him: "You keep in perfect peace the one of steadfast mind, the one who trusts in you. Trust in Yahweh forever for Yahweh is an everlasting Rock."
The Gospel reading which is the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew makes use of a similar image of a rock as foundation stone in describing Jesus' faithful follower: "Anyone who hears these words of mine and acts accordingly is like a wise man who built his house on rock."
If our spiritual life with God is built on solid foundation like the big tree trunk for the tree house or solid rock for our house, our spiritual life will be sturdy and strong. What does this mean for me and my spiritual life?
The faith we received handed on to us at our baptism must be nourished in our lives for it to grow, by prayer and the sacraments, listening and reading God's word and listening to commentaries on God's word and spiritual and corporal acts of mercy and love. These make our faith strong, even in the midst of doubt, temptations and trials. Indeed "not everyone who says to me: Lord! Lord! will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my heavenly Father." To enter the kingdom of heaven, we must do God's will.
FINALLY, WE PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ASKED OUR PRAYERS AND FOR THOSE WHO NEED OUR PRAYERS THE MOST.
Have a good day!
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