Thursday in the First Week of Advebt

Scripture Readings: Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25;  Mt 7:7-12

Everyone who lives by the words of Jesus Christ builds life on rock. Such a one is wise. Wisdom is the art of making distinctions. Jesus is making a very important distinction, and so must we.

To build one’s house, or life, on something is to set ones heart on something as being the end for which one lives. That end is the foundation. As a foundation it is important. It is important because it makes a difference. That difference distinguishes.

The shallower parts of a person’s heart are occupied by pleasures, possessions, and ego-gratification. Their importance is distinguished and determined by the satisfaction they give. That’s the way God made the heart. It is a good thing…but… it’s not the only thing. Our culture seems built on satisfaction because it makes people good consumers. Consumers keep people employed and kids well-fed. But satisfaction, like sand, shifts with time and fashion. It is short-term.

Satisfaction is not happiness, though the two are often confused for one another. Distinguishing them is very important because it makes a difference, a BIG difference.  

Jesus is calling us to happiness. It is obtained by building one’s life on a rock. A rock endures. But, “The large print giveth and the small print taketh away.” The large print is the satisfying. The small print, and the rock, are the lived words of Jesus Christ. They are important because they make a difference. But there is a catch.

Things that satisfy give us a sure reaction such as taste. That gets our attention and makes them important. The word of God doesn’t always do that. It is important-in-itself. The deepest part of the heart is reserved for this. To make it foundational, to experience the difference it makes, we must ponder it and act on it. To do that for something that isn’t immediately and personally satisfying we need to be first touched by Jesus Christ: “Whoever hears these words of mine…” Then we must be a part of a community that shares those words. “Where two or three are gathered in My name…” That is the only chance we have of making the Word our foundation for living. It is called “faith.”

And when we do this we become able to do the one essential thing that constitutes happiness: to “taste and see that the Lord is good.”