“Not Everyone Who Says To Me, ‘Lord, Lord'”

In today’s Gospel from Matthew, Jesus says to his disciples that “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who doest he will of my Father in heaven.” The wise person, says Jesus, is the one “who listens to these words of mine and acts on them.”

Listening to the Word is not enough. We must not only listen to the Word, but act on it.

What does it mean to “listen to these words of mine and act on them”?

Jesus demands more than mere external actions. (Remember his criticism of the Phrarisees later in Matthew’s Gospel for washing the outside of the cup and dish when “inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.”) Instead, Jesus demands nothing less than a true conversion of heart, a metanoia, an inner transformation. That is a lot bigger commitment than merely changing a few of our actions in the world. It is a commitment that entails giving over one’s life to God.

In praying with this passage in Matthew’s Gospel, we might ask ourselves: Am I willing to let Jesus change everything? Am I willing to allow my being to be completely filled with Jesus so that I am alive with his presence?

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