Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle A

Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time

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Matthew 7: 21-27

"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them … "

By "these words of mine" Jesus was referring to those challenging words of the Sermon on the Mount: happy the poor in spirit; … turn the other cheek; … love your enemies; … no one can serve two masters; … set your heart on the kingdom of God; … treat others as you would like them to treat you; … enter by the narrow gate. In such words had Jesus outlined the vision and the values which should underpin the life of those who would be his disciples. He offered a new, challenging and firm foundation for living.

Today, his disciples are still challenged by these words of his. We live in an increasingly secularised society where the prevailing attitude suggests that there are no objective ethical values, no fixed moral laws, no agreed beliefs or standards. People are free make up their own truths and determine their own values. Consequently there is no clarity as to the way that people should live. Not surprisingly, confusion reigns in a society where people are left trying to build their lives on the shifting sands of personal opinions and feelings.

Jesus Christ is the Word of God made flesh. It is he who teaches us the way we should live in this confused and confusing time. He does so in the down-to-earth words of his great sermon which we have noted above. If we are to be genuine disciples of Christ, we must both "listen to his words", take them seriously and "act on them” in everyday life. Then, says Jesus, you "will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock". Floods of countless, contradictory, and confusing beliefs, values and attitudes of our time may rise, and winds of ever more rapidly changing opinions may blow, but you will stand firm - built on the rock which is Christ himself.