I find it important to reflect upon today’s Gospel regularly in terms of looking at my life to see whether I am a man of action or just a man of words. The words are important when articulating my way of life but what will speak most to people is the witness of my life. Actions do speak louder than words in this situation.

Jesus illustrates this teaching with a parable about a house needing to be built on a proper foundation or it will collapse when the weather turns nasty. Similarly our lives, unless they are built upon the will of God, will falter and devolve into chaos and disaster. The image is one that we can easily relate to as we know the importance of having a sturdy home to provide security and protection for our families. Without a home we are left open to the vagaries of the weather just as if we fail to build our lives upon the Word of God we will be left vulnerable to the temptations of sin and the lies of Satan.

The final line in the Gospel also catches our attention as we reflect upon the power of the teachings that we have heard throughout our lives. At school, the best teachers I experienced were those who obviously loved what they were doing. I easily afforded them authority in my life as they had earned it through the witness of their lives. Conversely, I found it extremely difficult to submit to those teachers who were not so good at what they were doing and usually expressed their dislike for their job in one way or another. Their lives lacked the integrity of the aforementioned teachers and so did not have the same effect upon me.

This is equally true for all who preach the Gospel. The integrity of a preacher’s lifestyle is of paramount importance if they wish to be heard as an authority when they preach God’s Word. There is no doubt in my mind that the preachers who have had the most effect on my life are those who clearly loved their life, believed fully in what they were doing and were willing to back it all up with the type of life they were living. It is only too simple to recognize a hypocrite, as this type of lifestyle is completely contradictory to the Gospel. Jesus spoke with authority because He lived fully all that He proclaimed with His words.

Is my life one that is built on the firm foundation of the Word of God or have I allowed ideas contrary to the Gospel to infiltrate my life and weaken the basis for my faith?

Jesus, you are the only way to the Father. The words that you speak are spirit and they are truth. Grant me the grace to submit my life to your teaching and so build my faith upon the sure foundation of your truth and your will for me