Thought of the day
Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thursday of the First week of Advent

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church Sermon 7 on St John’s Gospel

Thursday of the First week of Advent

Commentary of the day 

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church Sermon 7 on St John’s Gospel

Building on rock

Is it surprising that the Lord changed Simon’s name, altering it to Peter? (Jn 1,42). “Peter” means “rock”; so Peter’s name is thus symbolic of the Church. Who is safe if not he who builds on rock? And what does the Lord himself say? “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..."

Of what use is it to anyone to enter the Church who builds on sand? He hears the word of God but fails to practise it; he builds, but on sand. If he had not been listening, he would not have been building; he hears and so he builds. But on what sort of foundation? If he hears the word of God and puts it into practice, then it will be on rock; but if he hears and does not put it into practice, then it is on sand. And so someone can build in two, very different ways… If you are satisfied by listening without practising, you build a ruin… But if, on the other hand, you fail to listen, you will remain without shelter and be carried away by the torrent of tribulations…

Be well assured, my brethren: whoever hears the word without acting accordingly is not building on rock. He has no connection with that great name of Peter to which the Lord attached such importance.