Today’s Gospel reminds me of a remark I hear time and time again, that there are far too many admirers of the Lord Jesus and far too few genuine followers.
Our Lord responds in a similar vein to the woman in the crowd who seeks to praise him by blessing his mother. What does our Lord say? “Those are blessed, who hear the word of God and keep it.”
The woman’s words of praise certainly express admiration, but it may be more flattery than substance. Our Lord reminds her and his other listeners – including us – that right action matters more than merely right thinking. Earlier in St. Luke’s Gospel, Our Lord asks the crowd, “Why do you call me Lord, but not do what I command?” For Our Lord, “the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house without any foundation.”
The temptation for many people today is to keep a tight grip on doctrine and miss its full expression in action. They know what they are supposed to believe, but they don’t believe this requires them to change their lives for the better. The challenge of the Gospel is to take what we believe and allow it to guide the way we live our lives. In this way we will discover that salvation is found not in what we know or what we say, but in what we do.