Lord, Lord

1 Dec

In yesterday’s reading at Mass, we heard the beautiful, inspired words of St. Paul, who teaches, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). Sounds good to me!

Yet in today’s Gospel, Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father” (Matthew 7:21). He seems to be saying the opposite of what St. Paul said yesterday. He’s teaching that not everyone who confesses faith in Him, who calls upon His name, will be saved. In fact, Jesus tells some people who call on His name to get away from Him, treating them like strangers and evildoers (Matthew 7:23), and not as people He intends to save. What gives?

What is happening in these readings is that we’re looking at two sides of the same coin. Yes, it is our faith in Jesus that saves us. At the same time, our faith has to manifest itself in the way we live. Otherwise, our profession of faith is mere lip service. Especially during next year’s “Year of Faith” focused on the new evangelization, Pope Benedict is calling us to a bolder, more explicit proclamation that Jesus is Lord.

But today, Our Lord adds the reminder that faith isn’t just about saying the right things, but about letting Him truly be the Lord of our lives, so that with His help we may also do the right things.

Come, Lord Jesus!

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