Dec. 7: How firm a foundation

(George Hiles / Unsplash)

The First Thursday of Advent

The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock (Mt 7:25)

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One of the valuable pieces of homeowner wisdom that my husband has impressed upon our children over the years is the danger that water poses to a structure. He even developed a call-and-response to reinforce this lesson: “What is the enemy of the house?” he would query, and they would chorus in reply, “WATER!” To this day, when the rain falls, the floods come and the winds blow and beat on our house, he will pull on a raincoat and head outside to check for gutter malfunction, moisture buildup against the foundation and any other water-borne threats.

In both knowing what he must do to protect against the bad weather and doing it despite the discomfort and annoyance of trudging around in the rain, he is the essence of the phronimos, the prudent, cautious homesteader in today’s Gospel who guards against life’s buffeting storms by building his house on the rock of knowing—and doing—God’s will. Whether we own or rent, live in a dorm or on a farm, dwell in the desert or the rainforest, each of us will inevitably encounter rough weather in our spiritual and moral journeys, storms that shake us and challenge our belief in God’s goodness. Jesus gives us instructions about how to prepare for the crises that dampen our faith or blow away our trust.

Being ready means discerning the will of God for our lives—and then carrying it out. If we construct our life’s foundations on the Word of God and reinforce them with the love of God, we will be able to withstand the fiercest squall.

Loving Lord, make me ever mindful of the need to secure the foundations of my faith by learning and doing your will for me. Amen.

For today’s readings, click here.

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