1 Timothy 1:15-17
The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost. But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Psalm 113: 1-7
Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord;
praise the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord
from this time on and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
who is seated on high,
who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust,
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house.”
In the scriptures today, St. Paul, in his exhortation to Timothy, likens himself to the man who builds his house on the rock. The man who builds his house on the rock is the man who hears the word of God and acts on it. When God spoke to St. Paul, he changed his life. The rock is the word of God. The wise man is someone who builds his life on that word. He builds his life on that word by acting on it, indoctrinating it into his habits, thoughts, and speech.
When St. Paul acted on the word of God, he first had to admit his own guilt. He saw that he had sinned against God and man. Yet, he did not turn away, ignore the word of God, and continue on his path refusing to change his life. Instead, he accepted the truth into his heart and completely turned his life around to be an example to others to give them the courage to do the same. When one hears the word of God, he or she has to make a decision. Either they let their lives be changed by it or they walk away and choose to not be changed. These responses can be seen in various ways. For people who do not consider themselves Christians, they can either be like St. Paul and accept Jesus and change their lives, or choose to not believe. For those who do consider themselves Christians, when they hear the word of God, they can either choose to share it with those who do not know it, or keep it secret inside themselves under the pretense that religion is private and something one keeps to themselves.
A man bears good fruit in his life when he hears the word of God, and acting on it shares it with others. What is your response to the gospel? Do you allow it to change your mind and heart and influence your actions? Or do you go away keeping it at a distance or let your mind wander elsewhere? Today, like St. Paul, choose to be transformed by the word of God and build your life on and around it.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, help me to make your word the foundation of my life. May I always be stirred by your word to share it with others and make it the most important part of my life so that I may bear good fruit. Help me to always be humble and keep your word in the forefront of my mind. Amen.