Built on a Rock

Jim Martin, SJ, comments on Jesus’ parable about the man who built his house on a rock:

If you act on Jesus’s words (not just listen but act on them) you’ll be like the fellow who builds on rock. Your life will be steady, unshaken, permanent. Notice that Jesus does not say that you won’t encounter any storms in your life. The one who builds on rock still has to face the rains and the winds. Believing in God, and acting on Jesus’s words, does not guarantee that your life will be free of suffering.

That goes against the grain of much of contemporary Christianity, which says that if you believe in Jesus your life will be one of ever-greater success and comfort. In other words, free of suffering. Just looking at the great Christians of our age shows how false that is. Did the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. suffer because he somehow had insufficient faith? Did Mother Teresa suffer because she didn’t act on Jesus’s words? More to the point, did Jesus suffer because his belief in God was inadequate? No. Suffering is part of everyone’s life — from the devout believer to the doubtful seeker.

But, as Jesus says in this parable, following the word of God means that the suffering will not shake you.


  1. Sufferings come and sufferings go. God never allows sufferings to take the honor or blame all the time. Praised be God.


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