We know that a house with a weak or broken foundation will lack structural integrity. It’s important for the foundation of the house to be strong in order for the house to endure.
Jesus told St. Peter that he would be the rock upon which His house, the church, would be built.
“Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” Matthew 16:18
Even St. Peter, who ultimately died for Jesus, had to undergo a spiritual transformation to become the man Jesus wanted Him to be.
St. Peter denied Jesus before He ultimately became faithful to Him. After St. Peter denied Jesus, he “…remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times. And he went outside and wept bitterly.” Luke 22: 61-62
True repentance is always marked by great sorrow. That sorrow is the turning point when we can come back to God and give Him the type of true contrition He desires.
“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” Psalm 51:17
Jesus knew that St. Peter would deny Him and Jesus also knew St. Peter would repent and give Him his heart, broken by the sorrow for his sins. Jesus also knew that St. Peter would become faithful to Him to the point of martyrdom.
Step #1: The first step in building up the house of God is true repentance. Only when we acknowledge our sins and come back to God with our broken and contrite hearts can we begin the process of being transformed by God’s love.
Step #2: The next step involves purging ourselves of ambition and pride and becoming humble servants of God as we acknowledge our great dependence on God’s grace and love.
Recall this conversation amongst the first apostles:
“Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
“We can,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10: 35-45
Jesus is teaching us in this passage what the foundation of His Church must be…THE SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION OF GOD’S HOUSE IS HUMILITY!
All true disciples must be humble, servants of God.
Children did most of my training in humility. After my spiritual conversion, seventeen years ago, I began studying the Word of God. After a couple of years God gave me some little children to teach. I was involved in preparing 8 year-old’s for their First Sacraments. One year I had the privilege of going into the Catholic school to do the preparation within the classroom.
On my first day I had brought the children little chocolate treats and they loved me instantly! The next time I came to the school the children noticed me entering the school. They flew towards me like little birds with open wings hugging me! Their affection was contagious and so too were their smiles. They were like receptive sponges. They had something to contribute to everything I tried to teach them.
Upon learning that we were all one family, brothers and sisters, one child said, “well if we are all one family then we should all love one another.” Families love each other. They understood!
Then I sent them off on a special mission. I taught them about how much Jesus loved us that He would die for us and I gave them little cards with a picture of Jesus on the Cross and the words “Remember to pray at 3 o’clock. It’s the time Jesus died for us!” The children were instantly enthused to give their friends, families and teachers a little card. So, like a perfect storm, they ran around the school distributing the cards. Then the Principal of the school did something amazing! Upon receiving a little card from one of her students and a little nudge from me asking can you help them to remember, she decided that every Friday at 3pm, when the school bell rings she would remind the students to remember Jesus dying on the Cross and the whole school prayed together.
One day, one of the mothers of the children in my class asked me if I could give her son a drive home. School was dismissed at three o’clock and as the little eight year old entered my car he looked at me and said, “Sylvia, it’s three o’clock, it’s time to pray!” I smiled to myself, holding back the tears, realizing how perfect little children are. So that day, the little boy led the prayer. The prayer was all about saying thank you to Jesus for His great love, for dying for us, for providing for us, for loving us.
I understand why Jesus said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 9:14
Little children are so naturally honest, trusting and ready to love. They are so receptive to God’s love and so ready to work for Him. They don’t ask “what’s in it for them” as adults do. They don’t consider whether or not we are worthy to speak to them. They don’t judge us by our titles or credentials.
The foundation of the spiritual house is broken until we can empty ourselves of all the pride and vanity and self-confidence that gets in the way. I realized in teaching little children about God that there really is nothing in the way. They are ready to trust God, ready to love Him and one another.
Let us pray
“Holy Lord I want to be a humble instrument of Your will. I am sorry for all my sins and I want to help You in Your plan of salvation. Here I am Lord I come to do Your will. Speak for Your servant is finally listening. I want to give You glory. I pray that You will help me make the connections I need to make. Thank You for Your love! Thank You for the opportunity to work with the children. I learned so much from them. I love You Holy Lord! I love You above all things and above all people and I love You within all things and within all people!”
Please join A Peaceful Revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ a Christian peace movement that is uniting Christians of all denominations in a daily prayer for the mercy of God at the time Our Lord Jesus died for us, 3pm, in our local time zones. At this time let us unite and pray for the Holy Spirit to come upon all people to bring all souls to repentance. Remember how much Jesus suffered to save you and give Him your heart! More info here.