Thought of the day
Saturday, September 10, 2016

Saturday of the Twenty-third week in Ordinary Time

Building on the rock

       Brothers, the apostle Saint James spoke to people who were zealous for the word of God, saying: “Act on this word. If all you do is listen to it, you are deceiving yourselves.” (Jas 1:22) You would neither be fooling the Author of the word nor the one announcing it; you would be fooling yourselves… And it would be very useless if the preacher announced the word of God outside and didn’t first of all listen to it within himself in order to put it into practice… 

       Who puts the word into practice interiorly? The person who keeps himself from evil desire. Who observes it exteriorly? The one who is “sharing… (his) bread with the hungry.” (Isa 58:7) Our neighbor sees what we do, but God alone is witness to why we are doing it. So “act on this word. If all you do is listen to it, you are deceiving yourselves.” You will neither deceive God nor his minister. I cannot read your hearts but God, who plumbs the heart, sees what human beings cannot see. He sees your zeal in listening, your thoughts, your resolutions, the progress you make through his grace, your attentiveness in prayer, the requests you make of him so as to obtain what you are lacking, and your thanksgiving so as to thank him for his blessings… 

       Think upon this, brothers! If it is praiseworthy to listen to the word, how much more is it praiseworthy to put it into practice. If you don’t listen to it, you are living in negligence and you won’t build anything. If you listen to it without putting it into practice, you will build nothing but ruins. Where this is concerned, the Lord gave us a good comparison: “Anyone who hears my words and puts them into practice is like the wise man who built his house on rock.” To listen and to put into practice means building on the rock… To listen without putting into practice means building on sand. To refuse even to listen means that nothing is built at all!