In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us to build up our character like a man building on rock. This is a follow-up on yesterday’s Gospel in which Jesus said we would be happy if our priorities in life were not wealth, comfort and fame.
Today he tells us that if we strive for what really matters, instead of misdirecting our lives toward wealth, comfort, and fame; then we will be like men who built their houses on rock.
Please forgive me for repeating an old story, but every time I hear Our Lord’s advice about building my life on rock, I recall doing that in the second week of May in 1954.
I had just been stationed in a Korean coastal town that was crowded with refugees from the North. There, two such boys, Peter and Paul, had just got themselves young wives; and as they were setting out to build a house for themselves, they invited me to give them a hand.
We dug eight deep post holes, and we borrowed a cart to lug up eight boulders from the creek bed, sinking them into the holes. I lent them half of what they needed for eight four-by-four posts that we lodged on the boulders, packing soil around them.
We went to the black-market for giant spools of American communication wire that we wove into netting between the posts Then, we smashed great handfuls of red clay over the netting.
Peter had to take his wife Theresa off to her parent’s village to have their baby, while I helped Paul do the roof with bundles of straw.
We had just finished, when the typhoon struck, taking out all the bridges up and down the coast, and wiping out the village where Theresa was having her baby. It washed the police station and our town’s public buildings out into the harbor, while Peter and Paul’s house, built on rock, stood firm.