In the Gospel of St. Matthew, Jesus concludes the sermon on the mount by saying, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock…And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand” (Mt7:24-27).
St. Vincent began his Common Rules for the priests of the Congregation of the Mission by referring to these words of Christ to state his firm trust on the maxims of Christ. He wrote, “The teaching of Christ can never deceive us, while that of the world can deceive us. Those who lead their life based on worldly maxims are like a house built upon sand. But those who lead their life based on the maxims Christ are compared to the house founded upon a solid rock” (CR:1).
Vincent exhorted us, his spiritual sons and daughters, in all the situations and in all our undertakings we should ask ourselves, “What Christ would have done?” or “What Christ would like me to do?” St. Francis of Assisi tells us, “To read sacred Scripture means to turn to Christ for advice.” It is when we spend time to read and meditate on the Holy Scripture, we can know what Christ wants us to do.
The psalmist begins the book of Psalm by comparing the person who delights in the word of God to a tree planted by streams of water. Those who delight in the law of the LORD, and meditate day and night, they are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. (Ps1:2-3). Jesus told us not just to hear the word but to act on them. St. James also tells us the same, But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves (Jas1:22).
About the Author:
Fr. Binoy Puthusery, C.M. is a Vincentian priest belonging to the Southern Indian Province. He was ordained as priest on December 27, 2008 and soon after served as an assistant parish priest in Tanzania. In 2011, after two years of ministry, he was appointed as Spiritual Director to the Vincentian Sisters of Mercy, Mbinga Tanzania, where he still is today.