Thursday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
For some Christians, and rightly so, Jesus’ opening line in today’s gospel is shocking. He tells us of that coming Day of the Lord when many will call out His name and even list the good things they did and yet, in spite of all this, He will say, “I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.
Being a Christian is not merely talking the talk or walking the walk; these are important of course (St. James’s famous exhortation regarding faith and works, for example) but today Jesus is pointing to an even deeper reality, something more crucial to our identity as His followers: doing the will of His Father in Heaven. He goes on to describe this reality as being like a man who builds his house on rock; such a house is unassailable. Another man may build the exact same house but because he did not build on a firm foundation, it is all for naught. Our Christian life and our efforts toward evangelization must be built upon that rock-solid foundation of the Father’s will. How do we know the Father’s will?
Jesus tells us in John’s Gospel, “If you know me, then you will also know my Father…the words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.” (John 14:9-10) Unless we know Christ we cannot know the Father; hence why some will cry out the Lord’s name on the last day and He will say, “I never knew you,” for, sadly, these peoplenever knew Him. If they did not know Him, then they could not know the Father, and therefore could not do His will. Granted, there is a great deal of theological discussion that could take place here regarding salvation, however I speak of these things not to condemn anyone but rather to impress upon us all how vital it is that we know Christ and know Him intimately well: our eternal lives and the lives of others depend upon it.