Matthew 7:21, 24-27
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come before you in humility
and with a spirit of hope. You no doubt have something to tell me. I approach you in prayer,
confident of your love and trustful of your grace to enable me to carry out whatever you ask. I
offer this prayer for those in my family who might be far away from you.
Lord, help me deepen my life of faith and charity, to better prepare for the trials ahead.
Façade: It is easy to address Jesus as "Lord, Lord." After all, we know by faith that he is
the Son of God. His miracles and the endurance of his Church attest to his divine nature. Yet, our
recognition of his divinity isn’t enough. Our admission that "Jesus is my savior" won’t guarantee us
a place in heaven. Faith in Christ can’t just remain on our lips; it must penetrate our hearts and
minds as well. Faith, then, implies doing the will of God the Father – in thoughts, words and deeds.
How does my faith in Christ translate into acts? Am I satisfied with saying a few prayers, and
2. Out of Sight: Christ exhorts his disciples to build their faith on rock,
not on sentimentality. To dig a solid foundation of faith takes hard work. It demands constancy in
prayer, charity and generosity. It also requires humility and purity of intention, since the work of
preparing a foundation is not glamorous. There’s nothing particularly beautiful about a big hole in
the ground at a construction site. So it is in the spiritual life, too; digging a foundation forces
us to go deep, to remove our worst faults. The process isn’t pretty. It forces us to face our vices
honestly and to rip away the mask we might wear in front of others. Without this step we risk
building our lives on sand. How well am I digging my foundation?
3. Too Late:
Foundations seem firm when all is calm. Fair weather doesn’t test the strength of a building. The
real test comes when the climate turns nasty. The same occurs in the spiritual life. When serenity
reigns around us, peace blossoms effortlessly. But when a crisis befalls us – a rejection, an
illness, a bit of opposition over a moral matter – that’s when we learn the sturdiness of our faith.
Peter, who boasted that he would stand by Our Lord "though all may have their faith in you shaken"
(Matthew 26:33), learned the hard way that his courage wasn’t what he thought it was. He abandoned
Christ in the garden of Gethsemane, as did all the apostles. How well do I face ordinary temptations
and setbacks? How well could I face a serious crisis?
Conversation with Christ: Lord,
I fear sometimes that I’m not much better than Peter, who bragged that he would stand by you, but
then fled when the guards arrested you on Holy Thursday night. I want to be a true Christian witness
in the world, but I need your help to overcome my human respect and laziness.
Resolution: I will do one external act of witness to the faith.