Are we astonished by Christ's words in today's Gospel? (See Matthew 7:21-29.)
I think back over my life and I can't remember a particular time I felt an emotional and enlightened moment of pure astonishment when thinking about the earth-changing words of Jesus.
I know for me and my personality it's hard to tap into emotions every time I pray. I like to take what Jesus says and apply them intellectually to my life and to the world around me, but often the words of Scripture don't hit me with waves of emotion. Am I missing out on astonishment?
Astonishment doesn't have to mean a profoundly emotional experience; it could be the very intellectual realization that Christ turns things upside down. Jesus comes to earth not to ask we put in lip service, or perform emotional backflips.
He is not saying we just have to do x, y, and z to procure divine favour. He is saying that if we hear His words we have to live His words. It's astonishing that God Himself is asking us to give Him everything we have because He values every part of our lives. We matter. Our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and actions matter.
Jesus doesn't simply want us to say we're Catholic when it's convenient or believe what is easy to accept. He wants us to take everything He teaches, and live it out in every part of our lives. Jesus asks this knowing full well it won't be easy for us. We will wrestle, struggle, and question, there will be hardship, suffering, rain, floods, and wind. But He promises that if our faith is built on Him and His words we will always be on solid rock.
It's astonishing that our God asks everything from us.
Scroll down to the commentary on this selection from Matthew in the "Catena Aurea."
Christy Isinger is a wife and mom to five lovely, loud children and lives in northern Canada. When not homeschooling, she is a devoted reader of English literature from Jane Austen to Agatha Christie. She writes about the beauty of faith, life, and the home at her blog and is the co-host of the Fountains of Carrots Podcast. You can find out more about her here. She is the author of our Blessed Conversations: The Ten Commandments study found here.