In 1954, two refugees from North Korea set out to build a two-room house to share with their young wives, and I gave them a hand with it. (Forgive me for telling the same story every time this Gospel comes up. )
We dug six three-foot-deep holes for corner posts, and we hauled boulders up from the river, dropping one in each ole. . We then bought great spools of U S. communication wire on the Black Market.
That June I was assistant to an old Irish priest with no use for me, so I joined the boys in plastering mud for walls on that wire netting between the posts.
One of the boys, Peter, was about to become a father; and to have her baby, he had to take his wife Teresa to her parent’s house back in the hills. I stayed behind to help Paul in thatching the roof.
We had things tightened up, when we were hit by a typhoon that took out most of our roads and bridges. It carried the police station and many public buildings out into the harbor. And, after the home of Peter’s wife washed away, the poor girl had her baby while clinging to a tree trunk high on a mountain side.
Our house built on stone stood strong.
Our Lord’s parable about building on stone concludes his “Sermon on the Mount.” And, we often miss out on its comparison of Our Lord’s New-Law teaching to the Old-Law teaching of Moses.
Where Moses began the Old Law with those famous one-liners, the Ten Commandments,“ Jesus inaugurated the New Law with his own one-liners, the Beatitudes. “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” “Blessed are the Meek,” “Blessed are they who hunger and thrust after justice.”
In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus was telling us that to stand firm through our storms, we must do more than avoid adultery and avoid taking the Lord’s name in vain. We have to love our neighbor as our self.