Sunday, 6 March 2011
9th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Shaftesbury
I’m only going to preach a short sermon today because Paul Bowe, our chairman of the parish finance committee is speaking at the end of Mass.
You may never have thought of this fact, but, it is much harder to preach a good short sermon than to preach a long one.
Today we heard the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, which concludes our 6 weeks of sermons on this topic.
Jesus concluded His Sermon on the Mount with the well-known parable of the man who built his house on sand, and the man who built his house on rock. Rock is obviously a better thing to build on, and “everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them” (Mt 7:24) will be building his life on such a solid and reliable foundation.
I want to pose one simple question today: why would anyone build their house on sand? It sounds so obviously foolish.
The answer, however, is that doing what is easy and quick always has a certain attraction –even when we know it won’t be as good, or as good for us.
If we apply this to the Lord’s moral teaching, which is what His Sermon on the Mount focussed on, we know that many elements of His teaching are tough: His more complete and fulfilled Law is a tougher law, as I noted a couple weeks ago.
But such toughness is only tough in the short term. The man who built his house on rock struggled in the building, but his life was better off afterwards.
If we make the effort to live the moral code Jesus gave us then we too will be better off, better able to withstand the storms and difficulties of life:
“Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock” (Mt 7: 25).