A Thursday Reflection 10.12.17

This post really got me thinking, so I share it with you …   Fr Joe

Stormy Weather

By Deborah Boston

“The floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.”

Are you sick of hurricanes yet? My in-laws live near Tampa, so after Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston, they braced themselves for Irma. They sunk their patio furniture in the pool, slashed their outdoor awnings, and boarded up all their windows. In the end, my in-laws lost only one tree and never had to evacuate. Puerto Rico, on the other hand, is still reeling from Hurricane Maria’s vast destruction, with reports of widespread shortages of potable water, ice, and other necessities.

And then there’s today’s parable about the house built on rock and the house built on sand. It’s so tempting, isn’t it, to think that those of us spared these recent natural disasters have done something right? We chose our locations more wisely, or prepared more thoroughly, or were rewarded for our fortitude during snowy winters. It’s hard for us to imagine what our neighborhoods would look like after the kind of weather that Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico have faced. No house could withstand those winds and floods. Indeed, today’s parable is not about where or how to build our homes — it’s about on whom we should build our lives.

Whether we live on the beach, or in the mountains, or plains, we can never be fully safe from wind and rain and disaster of every sort. The fallenness of our natural world, of our human communities, and of our hearts will find us in any earthly fortress. Only God, who made the heavens and the earth, can keep us safe. Don’t read today’s lesson and congratulate (or condemn) yourself for your earthly safety. Instead, remember that clinging to God doesn’t mean the storms will spare your neighborhood, but that when the rain comes and the devastation is apparent, you will never, ever be abandoned by the loving God. Pray for your brothers and sisters in trouble, and for yourself, in good weather and bad.

Matthew 7:24-29

24“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25The 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. 26And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”

28Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, 29for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.