Only by God’s Will

Matthew 7: 21-29
Gn 16:1-12.15-16 / Ps 106:1-5

Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
(Matthew 7:24)

Nothing to fear in evil’s wake,
God’s Word is my firm foundation;
No rains or flood, or winds can break
My faith in His firm protection.

Whatever we do in this life has no merit or substance unless we do it according to the will of the Father. “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name? Did we not drive out demons in Your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in Your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’” (Mt.7:22-23)

Reflection

It is not what we accomplish for the Church or for our Brotherhood that guarantees our ticket to heaven. Salvation is a grace freely given by God to His worthy servants. Nothing we do can ever qualify us to merit this grace. In fact, it is by God’s grace that we have come into the renewal; and all our good deeds are simply the fruits of what we have already received. They are outpourings of our gratitude to God for having led us into this new life in Christ.

Sometimes, in their ‘spiritual exuberance’ some brothers and sisters in the renewal begin to feel that they have special graces from God, like healing or discernment, or even the gift of prophecy. One sister excitedly related how she led a small group in casting out an evil spirit from a possessed woman. When I showed interest in this struggle against a supernatural force, she started to share how the Lord would speak to her when she went into a trance. It was time to excuse myself to find the toilet. At another time, a matronly sister who is active in many religious organizations told a priest in the hearing of others in the group, “Father, I think I am ready to meet my Creator after all the things I have done for the Lord these many years.” The priest smiled at her and said, “Only the Lord knows when we are ready; we can never be the judge of our own worthiness to enter His kingdom. We can only hope and pray that the things we are doing and have done are according to His will.”

Our faith is a house we must build on the firm foundation of God’s will. Whatever we do, we must pray to Him first for guidance, lest like Abraham’s wife , Sarai, we might misinterpret God’s plan and take matters into our own hands, and produce the wrong result, like the illegitimate son of Hagar, Ishmael, who became Abraham’s first born instead of Isaac (Gen.16:1-6).

Help us Lord to persevere, though Your ways we cannot always understand; make us see that in all things, Your Will alone is our command. Amen.

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