The Gospel reading from the Mass for Thursday of the 1st Week of Advent is Matthew 7:21, 24-27.

In the grand summary of Christ’s Gospel in the Sermon on the Mount, Christ exhorts men to produce good works and explains how good works flow from a man’s commitment to build an inner life exclusively on Him and His teachings.  Half measures lead to destruction.

Christ rebukes hypocritical men who appear to be followers (“Lord, Lord”) but do not do the will of the Father in Heaven.  In verses excluded from today’s reading (v. 22-23), Christ warns  false Christians that, despite their evidently good works, He will reject them as evildoers.  Christ urges all men to give themselves fully to God, with obedience and humility to relentlessly seek to do His will.

Using the Parable of the Builder, Christ exhorts men strive to grow in sainthood (digging a deep foundation) by focusing on His teachings (foundational rock); when the storms of life and the Judgment comes, a man’s life (house) will prove secure (withstand the storm). Men who lazily fail to strive for sainthood (digging a shallow foundation) and base their lives (house) on faulty morality (sand) will face destruction when the storms of life and the Judgment comes.  Christ’s words astonish the crowds (v. 28-29).

Awed by Jesus ChristDivine King, Christ asserts His Will and commands that His followers must do what He says. Divine Teacher, Christ gives logical and compelling parables which continue to change men’s hearts. Divine Judge, Christ reveals some of His criteria for the Judgment (good or bad fruit) and that some will go to Heaven (surviving the storm) and some will go to Hell (the great fall of the house).

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Anticipating the unavoidable Advent of Christ in your own life when you will meet Him face to face, be awed by Christ’s tough condemnation of those who pretend to be Christians but who fail to do the Father’s Will.

2) Christ condemns men who pretend to be Christians; with prayerful sorrow, imagine His disdain for the multitudes of unrepentant atheists, murderers, rapists, fornicators, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves and liars. During Advent, renew your familiarity with your coming Judgment (CCC 678-682, 1021-1022, 1038-1041) and pray for Christ to help you prepare for His coming and to guide you to evangelize those lost in sin.

3) Modern society’s recent foolish and prideful embrace of acts which have always been objectively sinful is a “house built on sand”; it is a house that will be swept away. During Advent, renew your understanding of the Morality of Human Acts (CCC 1749-1761) and pray for Christ to help you build your life on the solid rock of Christ’s Gospel.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Luminous Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Holy Eucharist

Virtue of the Day – Fortitude

Corporal Work of Mercy – To shelter the homeless

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To bear wrongs patiently