Thursday of Week 1 of Advent – Gospel

Commentary on Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Today’s Gospel reading reminds us of what true discipleship means. People often confess that they have not said their morning and evening prayers or that they have not been to Mass. Perhaps they should remember the words of today’s Gospel:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven…

On the other hand, those of us who always do say our morning and evening prayers, and never miss a Mass, also need to remember them. Something more is needed than just being a pray-er. What is needed is that we:

…do the will of [the] Father in heaven.

What is that will? It is that we be filled with the spirit of the Kingdom and work to make that Kingdom a reality in our world. It involves constant outreach beyond ourselves. We have to go to God by finding him present in the world around us and helping others to be aware of that loving presence also. We will not do that by piously calling on God’s name while ignoring the needs of our brothers and sisters. To do that is to build our house on sand.

That is not to say that prayer is not important. We cannot effectively do God’s work unless we spend time listening to and responding to his Word in times of undisturbed quiet. But our prayer is only genuine when it becomes the spur for us to go out and bring something of God’s love and compassion into our world.

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