Fr Paul reads the Gospel from Matthew (7: 21, 24-27), in which Jesus says those who do the will of his Father will enter the kingdom and ‘those who listen to these words of mine and acts on them will be like the sensible man who built his house on the rock’.

Fr Paul says, the Sermon on the Mount is the first of Matthew’s great discourses on the teachings of Jesus. It lays down the conditions or attitudes that are required to enter the kingdom. Matthew sums up all this by saying whoever does the will of the Father in heaven will enter the kingdom of heaven.

Doing the will of the Father is characteristic in Matthew.  For example, in Matthew’s version of the Our Father, he has added the words ‘thy will be done’.  Matthew does not pretend that doing the will, will be easy or that it can be done without any care or forethought. Hence, the stark contrast of the two people and their homes in the Gospel – the home built on rock and the home built on sand.  This stark contrast and its outcomes are symbolizing good and bad.  It is for Matthew a guide, but the choice is still up to us.

For our Advent reflection today, Fr Paul asks us to consider, ‘Am I doing the will of the Father?’