Thursday 25 June 2020

Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Word for today
The Gospel of Matthew 7:21-29

Akùo and poièo

Everyone who listens and does is the procedure for a strong and long-lasting life against evil, like a house built on rock that is strong and  able to resist storms and gusts of wind.
To listen. The Gospel’s word is akùo, "listen, feel, learn, read, understand; grasp what is heard; do right, obey, be fulfilled, adhere." It is not only to perceive with the ear, but also to perceive as well as to obey spiritually. Akùo is again "listen carefully, understand and learn, be fulfilled." It refers to being in a state of listening attention during which, with an ear straining to hear every sound, the rest of your being is in a state of insightful perception. It is attentive listening: a man in the woods listening to the noises and sounds, not only understands what the movements are and where  they are coming from, but he also finds his bearings and directs his path. The root of this verb speaks of "humility" as its Acadian base aku means "humble."
The Word expects humble listening and  poièin, meaning “acting on.” The verb poièo, "I do, I create, I procure, I produce, I realize, I do, I run, I work, I act," indicates the action of performing an assignment, a job, a task. Pachu, "do", the basis of this Acadian verb, means to complete the execution of work, so poièo also translates as "I conclude, I end, I resolve, I conclude, a final project." Poièo indicates the action of getting ready to start, making and finishing a project, it is doing, it is following a project from beginning to end.
From what Jesus tells us about Gospel's procedures, it is clear that you can never separate the two verbs akùo and  poièo without falling into the danger of building a house, a spiritual and/or social life, on sand, on nothing. Listen humbly to the Word and acting on them with passion is the only way to make the Gospel come alive and to make it wonderfully contagious to others. It is the only way to belong to Jesus and to be recognized by Him as a child of God. None of us will ever be perfect enough on this earth to fully and coherently realize the union of these two verbs, but God does not ask perfection from us to recognize us as His children. Instead he asks us for constant passion so we do not give up, He asks us for endless desire so we do not get discouraged, He asks us to be humble in asking for forgiveness to start over again, time and time again. At the end of our life the Lord will recognize us as His children and friends if we meet Him victoriously still humbly and tenaciously at work with our axe cutting away at the the tree of our pride, vanity and laziness, vices, jealousies and ambitions, possessions and presumptions non-loving acts. He will not recognize us as His children and friends if we meet him with that tree still intact.
Neither justice, nor sense of duty, nor fear of hell nor the law, or ambition have the strength to glue together the two verbs akùo and poièo to fulfill the Gospel in daily life. Love, only love is the glue that has the supreme power of firmly holding together those two verbs pasted together on a daily basis to fulfill the power of the Gospel message. No one possesses love. Love is not a destination; it is a journey. Love is learned. Love must be asked for and implored from God, who is Love. We must continuously implore without ever getting tired in the intimacy of our heart.
According to Jesus, those who do not want to learn to love and do not want to build their life on love are simply fools, for they are building their own ruin.
Jesus uses two analogies to distinguish two opposite ways to interpret, undertake and build one's life: a house built on sand is a life without learning to love; a house built on rock is a life that humbly learns to love. Sand and rock are the same material observed at different times. Sand was rock that over time was broken down by the elements and shattered into billions of tiny crystals. Love can be eroded by the winds of faithlessness, by the storms of poverty and misery, by the lack of willpower, by burned out passion, by lower charges of enthusiasm, by denying the healing power of forgiveness given and implored. Rock can become sand, but at the same time the fire of divine love and the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, can recast it to lava so that it becomes new rock, the rock of love on which we can build a house, a life, a city and a history.