The recent floods and wildfires in the U.S. across the west and Midwest point to the vulnerability of even the sturdiest structures in the face of rising water and fiery winds.  Jesus injunction that we build our “house on rock” takes on new meaning in the face of such natural disasters.  

But notice that Jesus speaks of this wise builder as someone who has heard the words Jesus speaks and embodies them in faith-filled daily action.  This in contrast to the person who remains at the fringes of faith and only cries out Lord, Lord! when faced with some personal crisis.

The challenge of belief becomes real in the midst of adversity and loss.  It is at such times that we come to understand that daily practice of our faith really does make a big difference.  Like the athlete who trains each day unseen by her fans, or the pianist who practices those frustrating Hanon exercises, relationship with our God  grows strong through familiar daily conversation and prayer.

In what ways do I open my heart to God’s gentle influence and action?  How do I let the Lord find me in the midst of my daily routine?

—Christopher Staab, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic teaching at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Chicago IL