Putting the faith into practice doesn’t necessarily mean succeeding always and immediately, but rather "trying every day."
Today’s readings can be found here.
Too often we reduce faith to many words and pious reasoning. We convince ourselves that because the theory is clear in our heads, this automatically makes us saints, or at least good Christians.
Jesus in today’s Gospel dispels all doubt in this regard,
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 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.’”
One can spend an entire life as a believer and as a practicing Catholic and yet be a perfect stranger to the Lord. This is simply because we have been Christians in word but not in deed.
Doing God’s will is worth more than many words. Putting our beliefs into practice is the foundation of any authentic faith experience that remains standing in spite of storms and adversity:
“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.”
Digging into the rock isn’t an easy thing; rather, it’s hard work. Jesus wants to suggest to us that putting the faith into practice doesn’t necessarily mean succeeding always and immediately, but rather “trying every day.” A saint is someone who tries every day to be holy, and every time they fail they start over again with great confidence and also good humor (which, incidentally, is a characteristic of someone who truly has a good spiritual life).
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio’, Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.