“SPEAKING OF ROCKS AND SAND” (Mt 7:21-27): 01 June 2008 (Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time)
In today’s Gospel reading, the Lord talks about collapsing houses due to shaky foundations. He is, of course, teaching us that more than anything else, the strongest foundation we can find to build our lives on is following God’s Will and doing good.
It’s a timely reminder since it is so much more fashionable today to build our lives on things that are less solid. Wherever we turn today–the TV, the billboards, the Internet–all we hear are voices that prod us to spend our lives in pursuit of fame, fortune, and power. But as we realize whenever someone dies, these are things people can’t take with them. Fame, fortune, and power can be so tantalizing and addictive that many people end up building their lives and shaping themselves based on these. But in the wakes that I visit, people never talk about how much money someone has made, or how well known that someone is, or how much authority the person wielded. Rather, they recall people’s kindness, their good deeds, and especially their love for others.
Indeed as the Lord says, to define one’s life based on things other than these is like building a house on shaky foundations. Once catastrophe strikes, the house collapses immediately.
Now, of course, with all this talk about rocks and sand, catastrophes and collapsing houses, one can’t help but think about the recent powerful earthquake that shook up the Sichuan Province in China last May 12. The one remarkable thing about that catastrophe is the heroism that emerged from the tragedy. I’m talking about the unexpected droves of volunteers who marched or drove to the disaster area to offer whatever help they could offer. But I’m also talking about the victims who perished in the earthquake–victims who perished because they were saving lives.
I received a slideshow about the Sichuan earthquake, where I found anecdotes of the heroism shown by both volunteers and victims, and before I knew it, the images and stories were suddenly swimming in my tears.
Amidst the rubble of demolished homes and lives, the volunteers and victims of the Sichuan tragedy show us that by doing good—-sometimes at the cost of their lives–we build our lives on much more solid foundations. As the slideshow says: “We will not forget you.”
If the slideshow doesn’t play, click here.
Here’s a Quick Question for you: “If you were to assess your life using the metaphor that our Lord suggests, would you say that you are building your life on rock?”
(image: from China Daily News)