The rain poured down, the rivers flooded, and the wind blew and struck that house. But it did not collapse, because it was built on rock. But anyone who hears these words of mine, and does not act accordingly, is like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain poured, the rivers flooded, and the wind blew and struck that house; it collapsed, and what a terrible collapse that was!”
There is a story about a sentimental lady who loved to watch mushy movie. On one occasion she was watching a movie featuring the misfortunes of a little orphan girl. The movie was what we call a “tearjerker,” something like “the Perils of Pauline” or “Little Orphan Annie.” And the lady wept through most of the movie, deeply affected by the heroine’s many hardships. Finally the movie ended, the lady dried her tears, picked up her things and left. As she emerged from the movie house, a frail little girl in rags approached her. She was emaciated and trembling in the bitter cold. “Ma’am,” she begged, “I haven’t eaten for two days. Could you spare a few pennies, please?” The lady reacted with outrage. “Go away, little vermin!” she cried out. “How dare you clutter the streets of our city?” and she walked away, draped in her righteousness. A fictitious beggar could stir her feelings, but not a real-life one.
In today’s gospel reading we hear Jesus say: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my heavenly Father.” In other words, fine feelings are useless if they do not inspire action.