In today’s readings, it’s years later. There’s no children, so Abram and Sarai begin to doubt God’s promise. Starting with Adam and Eve, doubting God is always the basis for disaster in the Bible. When we don’t listen to God’s words and act on them, the floods come and wash away the foundations of our relationships. Just look at what happened to Abram and Sarai. Abram’s doubt leads to adultery which leads to Hagar’s pride, which leads to Sarai’s envy and her abuse of Hagar. Without God’s word as the foundation as the foundation of their lives, their relationships crumble away.
Jesus says in the Gospel, “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” These words that Jesus refers to are the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). They begin with the beatitudes, which are promises of blessings to those who are humble, meek, mourn, hunger and thirst for righteousness, have mercy, are peacemakers, are pure of heart, and who suffer for the sake of Jesus. These are the promises that Jesus has made to us and that we need to build our lives around. When we live Jesus’ teaching intensely, we build our lives on solid rock. God becomes our shelter, our shield.
God’s word needs to be our safeguard in times of temptation. We need to remember what God has done for us. This is part of what going to Mass is all about. It’s not ordinary memory, but a memorial which actually makes present what we recall. It’s a supernatural memory where the same undying love and sacrifice of Jesus’ death on the Cross is made present again, right on our altars. When we come to Mass and let ourselves become aware of the mystery that’s happening right before us, we’re reaching out in faith and building our house on rock.
Sometimes it takes God a long time to make good on His deals, but He’s faithful. He’s always faithful, so we don’t need to be afraid of God’s plan. When the flood waters start rising and it looks dicey, stay the course! Persevere! If you are faithful to God’s word, your house is on solid ground and there’s no need to be afraid.