12th Week in Ordinary Time, Thursday

In today’s Gospel Our Lord teaches us that the real measure of the spiritual merit of our actions are whether those actions are in conformity with the will of God. Some would interpret that as depriving us of any free will or possibility of making decisions for ourselves, but as the First Reading shows us, God works with our decisions, even when they’re bad decisions: Sarai regretted the outcome of her suggestion to her husband that by today’s standards we know to be a bad one, but the Lord sent Hagar back to Sarai with a promise that she’d have a a great son and a many descendants. If God blesses in a bad situation that stemmed from bad decisions, we can only imagine how much he’ll bless us when we try staying united to him and doing what we think would be the most pleasing to him.

If we’ve never really spoken with him in prayer we’ll just be going through the motions. Prayer is not just reciting some words, it is also asking him for the grace to know him and his will for our lives. The solid foundation for the “house” of our lives is the will of God and knowing him. That provides a stability that goes beyond mortgages, health issues, even death itself. When we build on our knowledge of him and his will there’s nothing to fear from any storms in life that may buffet us, even when we’re broke, sick, in a difficult family situation, etc.

Let’s pray today for a deeper knowledge of Our Lord and his will in our lives in order to stay on a solid foundation.

Readings: Genesis 16:1–12, 15–16; Psalm 106:1b–5; Matthew 7:21–29.