Daily Office Readings for Friday of the 6th Week of Easter: Year 2
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” (Matthew 7: 24)
There are many people who can recite many good quotes and prayers but often fall short of living by them. What’s important here is not only to hear these words of Jesus and to memorize them, but to act on them, and to live by them as well. This is what our Lord Jesus meant by “hear these words of mine and act on them.”
Memorizing creeds, covenants, quotes and prayers and saying them everyday reshapes our personality. Hopefully, we will become who we preach to be. I have created two five-pointed stars for myself to live by. The five points of the first (which I created in the 80’s) is, “ Praise God, Love All, Keep Word, Live Plain and Work Hard. I was still in the Marines when my faith moved me to frame these five points as directions for my life. Notice that Praise God and Love All are the first two, and are the two Commandments that our Lord Jesus gave us. The second star consists of five points that spell out the acronym DRIPP. This represents Discipline (that I should maintain); Respect (for myself and others); Integrity (honesty in action); Prayer (always, especially Morning and Evening Prayer) and Patience (holy waiting and some quiet time alone.)
We all should have a code of conduct that we live by. My heart is heavy because of the killing of 19 fourth graders and their teachers in Texas. The 18 year old shooter had no sense of loving God and neighbor. The Russian military carrying out atrocities against Ukraine also have no sense of loving God and neighbor. We all need holy words to live by, words that guide our lives, especially in stressful times. None of us should harm the innocent, regardless of whether they are 10 years old or adults trying to live in their own country in peace. God created us as loving beings.
We must hear the words of our Lord Jesus and where necessary frame them in a way that makes sense for us without losing their meanings. And then we must act or behave in the manner that our treasured words lead us. Only when we build our lives with a solid foundation will we be “like a wise man who built his house on rock.” What words or phrases or covenants do you live by?
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done” (Genesis 2:1 and 2). So, for this evening and tomorrow day my friends, Shabbat Shalom.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John