No healthy tree bears bad fruit, no poor tree bears good fruit. And each tree is known by the fruit it bears: you don’t gather figs from thorns, or grapes from brambles. Similarly the good person draws good things from the good stored in the heart, and an evil person draws evil things from the evil stored in the heart. For the mouth speaks from the fullness of the heart.
Why do you call me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what the one is like, who comes to me, and listens to my words, and acts accordingly. That person is like the builder who dug deep, and laid the foundations of his house on rock. The river overﬂowed, and the stream dashed against the house, but could not carry it off because the house had been well built.
But the one who listens and does not act, is like a man who built his house on the ground without a foundation. The flood burst against it, and the house fell at once: and what a terrible disaster that was!”
Faith in Jesus does not protect us from trial. In the present parable, each of the two houses is assailed by storms: the one built on rock just as much as the one built on sand. We must harbor no illusion on this score. Christian life is not “all-risks insurance.” On the contrary, as a consequence of their very faith true Christians must normally face more adversities than other people since, after all, they are always swimming against the current of facility and selfishness. The promise of Jesus contained in this page of the Gospel does not bear, therefore, on the absence of storms. Far from that; these are announced as a matter of course. What is promised is the victorious resistance of the disciples of Jesus: though their house be furiously assaulted by storms, it will not fall. Those who build their house on the words of Jesus can say with the prophet Isaiah, “The Lord is an everlasting rock” (Is 26:4).
If, in accordance with the aspirations of so many of our contemporaries, we want to build a “just and fraternal society,” we must absolutely build it on the rock of the Gospel. The Man from Nazareth is the only one to have the words of eternal life (Jn 6:68).
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