Action and Words

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but do not do what I command?” Jesus asks his disciples in today’s Gospel from St. Luke.

The question speaks for itself. It is easy to proclaim our belief in words. To shout Lord, Lord. To tell ourselves and the world how wonderful it is that we believe in Jesus.

But, as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

I once before mentioned a sermon I heard in which the priest spoke of “rhetorical Christians.” Rhetorical Christians, he said, are great at telling you what they believe. They believe Jesus Christ is their Lord and Master…they believe all of the right things, and they say all the right things. They are willing to shout what they believe from the rooftops. They talk about what they believe, but their actions provide no evidence of their belief. You can not tell it from their lives.

Jesus makes quite clear in today’s Gospel how far it takes us to speak without acting. “But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed.”

Do we just shout “Lord, Lord” or do we do what Jesus commands?