Gospel: Mt 7:21-29
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. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not speak in your name? Did we not cast out devils and perform many miracles in your name?’ Then I will tell them openly, ‘I have never known you; away from me, you evil people!’
“Therefore, anyone who hears these words of mine, and acts according to them, is like a wise man, who built his house on rock. The rain poured down, 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 collapse that was!”
When Jesus had finished this discourse, the crowds were struck by the way he taught, because he taught with authority, unlike their teachers of the law.
In today’s gospel reading we hear Jesus tell us that, if we want to be happy and have a good and productive life, we have to build our lives on the rock of his teaching. Well and good. But Jesus taught so many things! How can we remember all of them? How can we be sure that we are not forgetting something, and that our whole life will not be ruined because of that forgotten something?
The answer to that quite legitimate question happens to be simple. Because on one occasion Jesus told us that we fulfill all the recommendations found in the entire Bible if we do only one thing. And this is what he says earlier in the same chapter of Matthew from which today’s reading is taken: “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets” (Mt 7:12). Here is the touchstone of the true follower of Jesus. In fact, Jesus tells us, even if you perform miracles in his name and cast out demons in his name, all that will be useless to you if you do not love your neighbor as yourself. Love is the last word with him. Nothing else really matters.
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