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First Thursday of Advent

Posted by Theology of Home on
First Thursday of Advent
This is an excerpt from Fr. Jerome Magat's new book, Honoring the Covenant: Daily Mass Meditations for Busy Married Couples. We are featuring excerpts from the book for the first four days off Advent.

About the bookCouples are incredibly busy—so busy that there’s always a temptation to make spiritual growth an afterthought or a future project once the children have left or retirement sets in. And even for married persons who are open to spiritual growth, the tendency is to focus upon praying as individuals, not on praying as a couple. To remedy this gap, Honoring the Covenant contains meditations that are simple, direct, and practical. They are designed for couples who want to make time to pray together and are seeking brief and meaningful insights into the Gospel reading of the day vis à vis their married life.

Gospel:  Matt 7: 21, 24-27

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,'
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined." 


Jesus asserts that works are an integral part of discipleship.  The prudent person is the one who both hears and acts upon Jesus' words.  To simply hear his word but not produce fruits of that message is not sufficient.  Assimilating the word of God, owning it, and being transformed by its power as manifested in actions is the rock upon which a solid relationship with Jesus must be built.  Anything less will lead us to ruin when that relationship is tried and tested.  We cannot rely simply on being hearers of the word.  We must be doers of that word as well.


Does the word of God animate my spiritual life?  Is it the operating principle upon which my relationship with Jesus is built?  Do I read the word of God in faith, accepting it as revealed truth understood through history and the lens of the Church's magisterium? 


Lord, teach me to listen and act upon your word.  Might my life be animated and captivated by your word's dynamism and power.  Help me to read and assimilate your word within the context of the Church's experience and wisdom so that when my faith in you is tested, I can rely with confidence in not only having heard the word, but also having acted upon it.

* * *

Bio: Fr. Jerome Magat, SThD, is a longtime friend of Theology of Home. He is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia. While a parochial vicar, he founded the Guadalupe Free Clinic of Colonial Beach in 2005, the diocese's first free medical clinic for the poor, of which Theology of Home is a proud supporter. He is a faculty member of St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park, California.

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