What an interesting story we see in our first reading today from Genesis 16. Abram and Sarai have no children. Even at their advanced age, Sarai agrees to let Abram have relations with one of her Egyptian maidservants, Hagar. Abram impregnates her and then the soap opera gets even wilder. Check this story out! For our Gospel reading, we’re at the end of the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 7.
Jesus says, “No everyone who says to me “Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father.” He then goes on to say how important it is that we not only hear His words, but act on them, too. There are some who say that “doing the will of the Father” simply means having faith. But Jesus makes it clear that we must take another step in the process. It is not enough just to have faith. We must put that faith into action.
As we read in all of the Gospels, Jesus said a lot of things. But His comments here come right at the end of the Sermon on the Mount. The timing of this statement is significant. Jesus had just given His most difficult teachings…love your enemies, forgive and you will be forgiven, stop judging, do unto others. All of these things are “the will of the Father.” We cannot just brush them off, as though Jesus were speaking euphemistically. We must take Him at His word. Accept God’s grace, and do His will, day by day.
Father, forgive us for those times when we fail to do your will. Give us the grace to live out these most difficult teachings of your Son, Christ Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.