Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

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Lectionary: 85
Read the Gospel: Matthew 7:21-27

Gospel Summary
As Jesus concludes the Sermon on the Mount, he challenges his listeners (including us) to not only hear and listen to his words, but to actually live and act according to them. It is not enough to say you believe in Jesus, but to give witness to that belief through actions. Jesus illustrates his meaning by creating an image of construction workers. To merely say we believe the words of Jesus is like the person who builds a house on sand. The smooth, soft sand may look like a good location for a house. It will be easy to dig the foundation in such soft earth, but when the storms come, the foundation will wash away and the house will fall. On the other hand, the harder ground of rock will provide a firmer foundation. Of course it will be harder to dig into it, but when the storms come, the house will stand because of its solid foundation. Our actions that prove our belief is the foundation of rock.

Reflection for Families
What are some storms your family has faced? Share with one another individual struggles or difficulties you have experienced as a family. Offer suggestions of what your family's foundation might be. How does the foundation allow you to weather the storm; or has the foundation ever crumbled? What can you learn from these events? What can you do to shape the future of your family based on former experiences?

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
Using popsicle sticks or some similar material, create a house. Let each stick represent a struggle you have as a family or struggles experienced by individual members. You may even use a pen or marker to label the struggle on each stick. When you are finished, find some stones and place them in a dish. As you put each stone in, name some ways and people who help you face and get through the struggles mentioned above. Set the house on the stones and put the dish in your family's prayer space or some prominent location where you can be reminded of this Gospel passage. Let the symbol help you act according to Jesus' teachings and not merely talk about your beliefs.

Discussion Starters
1. Some storms I have faced in my life include . . .
2. A rock in my life is . . .
3. One change I will make in my life so that my ÒhouseÓ is on a firm foundation is . . .