25 June 2009

How Firm is your Foundation?

Homily - Thursday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Gn 16:1-12, 15-16; Ps 106:1b-2, 3-4a, 4b-5; Mt 7:21-29

The Gospel today has the account of Jesus advising His disciples to be careful about the kind of foundation upon which their house (their life) is being built. So, what is your foundation made of: sand or rock? (I could almost remember the Christian action song on the same theme that we used to sing in grade school.)

To add more particularity to our reflection: our faith in God is the foundation upon which we should be building our life.

There are several things that weaken ever so deceptively this foundation, that makes us mistake rock for sand:
Faith without love;
Worship without sacrifice;
Prayer without encounter with Christ;
Preaching without witnessing;
Belief without study;
Spirituality without community;
Religion without passion...

Fr. Jboy Gonzales, SJ, in his Facebook account and blog (http://faithofacenturion.blogspot.com), points to a memorable and oft-quoted scene from the movie Fiddler on the Roof:

Tevye (the husband, nervously asks his wife, Golde, this unusual question): Do you love me?
Golde: Do I what?
Tevye: Do you love me?
Golde: Do I love you?
With our daughters getting married
and this trouble in the town,
You’re upset, you’re worn out,
Go inside, go lie down.
Maybe it’s indigestion.
Tevye: Golde, I’m asking you a question: Do you love me?
Golde: You’re a fool.
Tevye: I know--- But do you love me?
Golde: Do I love you?
For 25 years I’ve washed your clothes,
cooked your meals, cleaned your house,
given you children, milked your cow.
After 25 years, why talk about love right now?
Tevye: Golde, the first time I met you was on our wedding day.
I was scared.
Golde: I was shy.
Tevye: I was nervous.
Golde: So was I.
Tevye: But my father and my mother
said we’d learn to love each other.
And now I’m asking, Golde, do you love me?
Golde: I’m your wife.
Tevye: I know!
Golde: Do I love him?
For 25 years my bed is with him, starved with him.
25 years my bed is his. If that’s not love, what is?
Tevye: Then you love me?
Golde: I suppose I do.
Tevye: And I suppose I love you too.
Golde and Tevye together: It doesn’t change a thing,
But even so, after 25 years, it’s nice to know.

Our faith is lived in love. And love is expressed in service, in words but more so in deeds (St. Ignatius of Loyola). Such is the firm foundation of our life.

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