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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
 
Homilies/Reflections

A strong city
By FR JULIUS OLAITAN

December 06, 2018 (Thursday of the first week of Advent)

 

A strong city

 

Dear friends in Christ, admittance into any earthly kingdom or nation, requires that certain conditions be met. Will heaven be for all comers? When Jesus handed the keys to Peter, he also told him that he could open and lock for anyone. Is that not an indication that not all are allowed in?

 

In our first reading today (Isaiah 26:1-6) the prophet looks at the city of Jerusalem as a pointer to the heavenly city. The earthly Jerusalem served as the religious and political capital for the inhabitants of Judah with the Temple at the centre. Built on Mount Zion, the Temple served as the symbol of the presence of God in the midst of His people and her greatest security. The real reason for her safety and security is God. If they keep the commandments, they are assured of protection. The prophet therefore talks of this security in spiritual terms, “We have a strong city; he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps faith may enter in.” The prophet instructs that those who put their trust in God also enjoy the peace which only God can give, “You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you…for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” We must learn that our true security comes only from God. Unless we have firm faith in God, we only waste resources trying to buy the most sophisticated of weapons for self defence.

 

In today’s gospel(Matthew 7:21.24-27) Jesus assures his disciples that true security is by both listening to his word, and putting it into practice. That is where true and complete security comes from. “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my father in heaven.” With Jesus, the kingdom of God has arrived in our midst—that is the fulfilment of the laws and the prophets. It is however not enough to attach oneself to him by calling him Lord. It is important to live as he has commanded. A faith that is built on words alone, is like a house built without a proper foundation, on sand, it will surely collapse. But when words are complemented with actions, it becomes firm like a house built with proper foundation which will stand any wind.

 

Let us pray: Lord, you are our strength. Help us to build our faith firmly on your word and live out what you command. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. 


 
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