MEMORIAL OF SAINTS CORNELIUS, POPE, AND CYPRIAN, BISHOP, MARTYRS
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.
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.”
Our scriptures today show what someone looks like who is fully rooted in the Lord. In the first reading, we see St. Paul exhort Jesus Christ while calling himself the foremost of sinners. He demonstrates his humility and gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice for him. In the gospel, Jesus teaches how a tree is known by its fruit. “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.”
In the gospel, Jesus makes a comparison between one who hears the word of God and acts on it vs. the one who doesn’t. The one who hears God’s word and acts on it is not swayed when battered by trials, like a house with a firm foundation. One without this foundation falls down. St. Paul used his words to preach the gospel, and when troubles came against him, he remained firmly rooted in the Lord. Despite the sufferings and persecutions he endured for the sake of the gospel, he did not fail to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
When troubles come up in my life, how do I react? Do I speak words of faith and the goodness of God or do I panic, letting doubt and fear manifest in my words? If I am rooted in the Word of God, these words will come out of my mouth and I will change my direction and my life through the rock who is my salvation.