In Matthew 16:18-19, Jesus says, And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
I liken this scripture to my wife and I saving up all our money to build a new house. The first part was easy with the builders you come up with ideal plan for your house. Well it is not exactly your ideal plan because that is usually dictated by what you could afford and the supplies being available. At the time, we had to compromise. For me building a house can be compared to my faith journey. The commitment my parents made for me began with the Celebration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist. It was keeping that commitment that was difficult.
Then you pay instalments as each part of the house is added. First the site preparation, foundation, framework and brickwork. For me it was my parents paying the school fees to send me to a Catholic School. At my school for 13 years I was given a grounding in the traditions of the Catholic Church through prayer, scripture and liturgy. It was where I learnt about the symbols and the rituals that are integral to celebrating our faith.
Next is the installation of windows and doors, roofing and siding. I would compare this stage of my faith journey as where I start to connect the scripture, symbols and rituals to my life experiences and how that is interwoven with my relationships with God and everyone I encounter.
The following stage is fitting the electricity, plumbing, cabinets and flooring. Instantly I am at the point where I am required to continually visit the house to ensure everything is going to plan. The link with my faith is although it is taking shape I need to constantly reflect on my life experiences to determine that challenges I face don’t consume so I don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. That is my relationships with my family, friends and God.
The final stage is lock up where you make the final payment and are given the keys. The keys that immediately, opened the door to the responsibility that went from furnishing the house to quickly becoming a larger family. Furthermore, the house is not only our home but a mixture of different personalities that share the highs and lows of each other’s lives. Like our faith journey we continually evaluate these experiences with the commitment of achieving fruitful and positive relationships that enable us to assist others and ourselves in working towards a common purpose to build on the foundation that allows us to pursue our dreams.