Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

buildontherock19

Gospel: Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Jesus said to his disciples:
“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.

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

Reflection

The readings today take a particularly personal tone with me.  Isaiah’s is a prayer for deliverance in which he asks for divine help against the ‘people’s’ enemies.  Our gospel today, from Matthew, tells us that God will judge us all but Jesus will act as our advocate.  Matthew goes on to write that only a life lived with love and justice will prevail.

A couple of days after Thanksgiving, my brother-in-law died suddenly. He lived in Bermuda.  He had a beautiful, loving wife and a handsome son who loved him so very much.  He died with no warning.  Gone.

As the shock began wearing off, I was trying to speak with him and find out how he was taking it.  Sadly, there was no answer.  But then I realized my brother-in-law wasn’t too worried about his family or friends or me.  I realized he was having a chance to chat with God and have Jesus as his advocate.  As I continued to reflect on this I realized my brother-in-law was about to be in glory.  He was a generous, good and loving man.

He also had a snarky wit and I didn’t like some of his politics.  Well, in honesty, we disagreed on the English policy against Ireland.  You see, he was from England and my family is Irish.  But after a few drinks, I couldn’t understand his accent and this made no difference!  On we’d battle with our wives telling us to be quiet and stop fighting. Inevitably, we’d smile, hug each other and go on to other things.  We both agreed our angry wives were a lot more dangerous to each of us than the Irish/ English conflict.

Now, he is gone but not forever. As he sits with God about to judge him, I can smile warmly.  He lived a life that with the help of his advocate, Jesus, is going to be rewarded for eternity.

With His help, all things are possible.

– Dcn. Patrick Kane

Action Step:

Do we practice what we have learned in the Gospels?  Take some time today to reflect on how faithful our actions are to the message of the Gospel.