In today’s Gospel from St. Matthew, Jesus warns his disciples that “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.”
In other words: talk is cheap. Spouting out the right answers is easy. The real question is, do we live up to our words? Do we act in a way consistent with what we say we believe? (In the words of the old bumper sticker: If I were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence from my acts to convict me?)
In the Gospel, Jesus presents the parable of the wise man and the fool to illutrate the choice we are given: to hear God’s word and act on it or to hear God’s word and reject it for the sake of some worldly goal. Our choice to simply say “Lord, Lord” or to do the will of God.
The invitation to listen to God’s word and to act on it is there for all of us. It is our choice whether to accept it. Our decision whether to accept the advice contained in the Letter of St. James quoted on the sidebar: “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like.”