12th Week in Ordinary Time, Thursday (Year II)
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”
Jesus’ sobering words cast presumption aside. We must come before the Father as a little child emptied of self-will and ready to obey, however difficult it may be. Jesus directs us to the Father rather than to himself, for the Father and the Son have one will. The Holy Spirit has been sent into our hearts to lead us to the Father through the Son.
Hearts need to be watchful and silent to hear the Spirit’s still, small voice. Since the Spirit enlightens and guides our inner spirit, obedience is not violently coerced from without, but freely offered from within. We can trust the testimony of the saints, and pray for the gift of the Spirit for ourselves and for the Church. After Pentecost, Peter and the disciples transformed into persons full of grace and power.
Jesus is not impressed with “mighty deeds” apart from a childlike trust in the Father and continuous metanoia (inner conversion). Outsiders see what we do; the Father sees what we are—the condition of our hearts, including our thoughts and intentions. Everything must be surrendered to him.
Jesus, an expert carpenter, advises us to build our house on solid rock. Rain and floods will come, winds will blow and buffet, but a house built on solid rock will not collapse. Every day is a new beginning to listen to his words and act on them. “Today, if you hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Psalm 95:7-8; Hebrews 3:15). Many todays flow into eternity.
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him” (John 14:23).