Deacon Greg has a great homily posted. He gets it. Really.
Living the gospel is hard work. Following the teachings of Christ is hard work.
But it pays off.
Think back on what we have heard these last few weeks, what Jesus has asked us to do. Be poor in spirit, merciful, a peacemaker. Be perfect, and holy, like your heavenly Father. Love your enemies. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Trust in God to take care of you.
These teaching are solid, and unflinching, and difficult.
These teachings are not sand.
They are rock.
And just as it’s hard to dig into rock, it’s not easy to burrow into these lessons.
It’s so much easier to NOT try to be perfect and holy, to be just good enough to get by. It’s easier to just settle for sand.
But if we don’t live out the gospel message, and hold fast to our faith, the rock of our lives, what will happen when storms come?
What will happen when the company decides to downsize, and you find yourself laid off? What will happen when the x-ray shows a suspicious spot? What will happen when you get the call late at night with news you never expected?
If we don’t have that secure foundation in faith, what will any of us do when we find that the forecast for our life has changed – that a devastating storm is about to hit?
We might give in to despair, or cynicism, or spite. We might surrender to fear or doubt.
Or, if we have built our lives on the rock of Christ, we might find comfort in trusting in God’s will, and knowing that He will never abandon us, even in the most severe of storms.
As we prepare to move into Lent this week, and a season of deep prayer and penitence, look back on the lessons we’ve been given. Re-read the gospels from the last few weeks. Dip into Matthew’s gospel and pray over the entire Sermon on the Mount. There you will find a foundation to which all of us can cling during times of trouble, and times of testing.
Let the rains fall and the wind howl.
With the gospel beneath us, and God beside us, we will be safe and secure.
Get the whole enchilada here.