The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Thursday of the 12th Week of Ordinary Time is Matthew 7:21-29.

Christ continues the Sermon on the Mount, giving His disciples guidance for the journey towards Heaven.  After condemning false prophets (Matt 7:15-20), Christ now reveals that false Christians can’t fool Him and confirms that true Christians accept and live the whole of His Gospel.

Christ confirms coming His Judgment of all souls and that many do not enter the Kingdom of Heaven; shockingly, including even those who appear to be Christian.  Like the false prophets who spread confusion and immorality, Christ judges false Christians, who say, “Lord, Lord” and do pretentious acts of public piety but are far from Christ in their hearts, as evildoers who will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Christ sees through false words and false works and is the sole Judge of each man’s soul.

Rather than following the formulaic or outer acts of piety of the Pharisees or the false prophets promote, whom Christ has already condemned, Christ calls men to a complete obedience to His Word. The parable of of The Wise Builder refers to the storms of life and confirms that only the absolute commitment to build one’s entire life on the solid rock of Christ’s Gospel will lead to salvation. The crowds are in awe of Him because He speaks with Divine Authority; likely, they are also stunned by Christ’s assertion that He has the power to judge men’s souls and condemns even seemingly pious men.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ has divine authority that astonishes those who hear.  Divine Judge, Christ reveals that He has the wisdom and power to judge men and the that He will condemn many. Divine Teacher, Christ uses timeless parables, based on His 30 years of living on earth as the Son of Man, to instill the complete commitment to His Word.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) The clear words of Christ again confirms His serious call to perfection and that He is an extremely tough Judge. Read the Scripture passage again, imagining that you are present when Christ speaks.  Be awed by His manly toughness.

2) Christ condemns men who pretend to be Christians; imagine His disdain for unrepentant atheists, murderers, rapists, fornicators, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves and liars. Renew your familiarity with your coming Judgment (CCC 678-682, 1021-1022, 1038-1041) and pray for Christ to awaken you to repent and strive to draw ever closer to Him.

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. 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