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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Not everyone who says "Lord, Lord"

Today's Gospel reading at Mass was Matthew 7:21-29:

Jesus said 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.
Many will say to me on that day,
‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?
Did we not drive out demons in your name?
Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?'
Then I will declare to them solemnly,
‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.'

"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
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."

When Jesus finished these words,
the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority,
and not as their scribes.


When I read these words last year (as a Thursday lecter, I get the same readings for the 12th Thursday of ordinary time every year - I LOVE the liturgical calendar*), I was ashamed to know that my Particular Judgment would show many episodes of my crying out "Lord, Lord" while committing any number of seemingly little, comfy and tidy sins.

This year, I realized that people of whom the Lord spoke weren't protesting by pointing out that their sins weren't so bad, they were protesting by saying "Look at the WONDERFUL things we did in Your Name!"

I can't say I haven't been warned, in His Mercy. I could be the nicest person in my parish, the most energetic encourager of others' reluctant faiths, the best jello-mold bringer to the potluck, but I'd better be clear on the Rock on which my foundation is laid.

*Being the lecter for the same readings each year, I got to make the annual last-second-while-stepping-into-the-ambo decision on the first reading, Genesis 16:1-16, about Abram, at the part where Sarai tells Abram to go ahead and have intercourse with Hagar...... I chickened out and read the short version (starting at verse 6b). I'm not a prude, but unless the homilist is planning to emphasize that part of the story of the birth of Ishmael, I'd rather skip the intimate details. Who said the Bible is dry and boring?

2 comments:

~m2~ said...

i, too, was the lector for the reading about abram and sarai - monsignor was nice enough to have the short version earmarked for me...

before you go read, do you pray? i always ask for the Holy Spirit to make himself evident through what i read and not have it be about me at all. there have truly been times when i've gone through the reading and have no idea how i sounded or if i misspoke. i think i like it that way...

good words on the foundation; if you don't mind, i am going to copy and blog it later :)

Therese Z said...

Yes, I do pray as I approach the pulpit. Your wording is pretty similar to mine; I usually say "Holy Spirit, all You, no me. And please keep me from saying "prostate" instead of "prostrate." Amen."

Sometimes I think I can't hear myself, and I realize that I am telling the story, instead of reading the story. I am very blessed by being a lecter.

 

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