Building a Foundation



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.



Walking on Water

In Matthew 14:26-30,

The disciples saw Jesus walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

Taking the first step is always difficult to do particularly if the governing emotion is fear. We often defer to our comfort zone or we can revert to a state of denial.  So why do we act in this way?

I think we have a fear of the unknown when we can’t explain what is occurring. Consequently, we try to predict possible outcomes. For me it is usually the worst case scenarios because I can’t influence the outcome. Therefore, if I am not in control I have to let go. Hence, my faith needs to kick in.

The next stage is taking a leap of faith and getting out of the boat and walking on the water toward Jesus. When Peter saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” I liken Peter’s experience to being on a rollercoaster ride and then suddenly wishing I wasn’t there because the experience I was having was not quite what I envisaged. Therefore, the rollercoaster ride was not what I thought it would be although I am much wiser for the experience.  Hence, we learn from our experiences especially those that involved risk taking. On reflection, I am still glad I went on the rollercoaster as I am sure Peter is that he tried to walk on water.

The final stage is trust in the support of your family and friends. Jesus said, “You of little faith why did you doubt.” I would argue it is not only a matter of doubting my own abilities but doubting my own faith in God to reveal that he has an active role in my life. When faced with difficulties or challenging situations it is then you rely on your family and friends to keep you thinking positively that you can overcome any situation. The question is when your options run out can you put your trust in God? I believe it is then that you can truly walk on water.


What is Love?

In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Saint Paul says,“Love is patient, love is kind, love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

So, I reflected on what best symbolized love and for me. I believe love is where we meet to God. Love takes many forms.

Firstly, for me to know love I need to appreciate the beauty in the world around us. I see it in the enormity of God’s creation, the music that I listen to, the brilliant dramatic performances of actors, the creativity of painters, the intricate storytelling of authors, the artistic elegance of dancers and the laughter of children.

Secondly, I find Love in the Gospels when I read about Jesus. Jesus through the Parables speaks about a God that is merciful and forgiving especially to the poor, the sinners and those at the margins of society. Furthermore, he heals the faithful of their afflictions all they have to do is believe. Thus, Jesus through his words and actions inspires us to imitate his life. We can do this by listening and discerning what God wants for us by reading the bible, praying, appreciating creation, celebrating, loving our neighbour and accepting forgiveness and forgiving in turn.

Finally, I find Love in the people I have encountered in my life.  The relationships I form with my family, friends and work colleagues is where I find God.  It is through their encouragement, support and commitment to the relationship that allow me to be who I want to be and give me hope that my life’s journey will be a fruitful one. Just like God these people are a constant in my life whose Love fortunately for me never ends.