National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Cornerstones of faith

 |  NCR Today

"Cornerstones of faith." Matt 7:21-29

In today's Gospel reading, Jesus cautions his disciples that the foundation of faith is action not just words. Church membership, perfect attendance at worship, theological credentials are nice but not enough. The bedrock of faith is to do the will of God. Build your house on this rock, not on the sands of good intention or ritual practice.

The underlying reality of faith is a personal encounter with God, and this happens most directly in the living out of our faith. Jesus will outline specifically where we can find him in Matt. 25, the demanding parable that gives us the corporal works of mercy: "I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me to drink, ..."

Peter is named "rock" and designated the cornerstone of the church not because of his intelligence or bravery (he failed on both counts) but because he walked the walk and, in the end, knew from experience and profound failure the meaning of the message he would preach -- a gospel of forgiveness. Like a former alcoholic who is authorized to help other alcoholics, Peter the miserable failure will preach God's mercy to sinners.

The probing lyrics of songwriter Leonard Cohen touch the core of this paradox. "There is a crack, a crack, in everything. That's how the light gets in, that's how the light gets in." We build our faith on the rock of mercy, the foundation of forgiveness. Peter is foundation precisely because his heart was broken, there is a crack in him, like the rock Moses struck in the desert that burst into tears. Thanks be to God. That's how the life gets in.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature_ad_Family-synod3.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

September 26-October 9, 2014

09-26-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.