Two days ago we heard the last verses of the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 7:21-29). Jesus starts with the words at top and goes on to say that even if a person does great deeds in His name if that person does not follow God’s will in his life, he is an “evildoer.” Jesus goes on to use an analogy of a house’s foundation: Those who hear and act accordingly have built on rock, those who hear and ignore have built on sand; one withstands storms the other does not. Jesus, teaching with authority, leaves His hearers astonished. Jesus’ opening words are terribly important (particularly when we consider the consequences for not heeding them). Some Christians promote a “once saved, always saved” doctrine in which they believe that once they declare themselves “born again” no action of theirs, no matter how heinous, will threaten their salvation. Catholics are not immune to their own form of “assurance” if they think that simply going to weekly Mass and receiving the sacraments is a guarantee of heaven. Faith life is not confined to a one time declaration or an hour or two a week. If the rest of our lives does not conform to what we confess in church, we truly are like the man who built his house on sand: We will be easy marks for the increasing decadence we encounter in our culture and society. Words, even accompanied by emotions, do not necessarily correspond to one’s will. The goal is to get all of these aspects of ourselves into conformity. Our overwhelming desire should be to endeavor to know the will of God for our lives (through prayer, study, reflection) and then actualize it to an ever higher and higher degree (through, again, prayer along with the graces that come through the sacraments, to which we will be more and more receptive as we grow in the virtues and eliminate the vices). Let us attach ourselves firmly to the Rock.