The essence and substance of Jesus’ words were never meant to be purely thought-provoking or philosophical. His words are a guide to action, an example of how we should live our lives in service and compassion for others. While we are all familiar with the teachings and tenets of Christ, how many of us truly build a solid foundation of faith by acting daily on his call to love as he loved? It is easy to build the house on sand, to simply listen and acknowledge the reflections of Christ. It is more of a challenge to consistently act upon them. When we live the words of Jesus rather than just listen to them, we are building ourselves up as well, fortifying our spirits to withstand whatever trials may besiege us. We become a fortress, a foundation built upon the Word of God.

Today is the Feast of St. Francis Xavier, SJ, a companion of St. Ignatius. Francis epitomized the calling to act on Jesus’ words by spending much of his ministry in mission work, spreading the Gospel and helping those in need. Each day brings us new opportunities to do the same.

Mike Gabriele is the Communications Director for the Maryland Province Jesuits and a graduate of Loyola University Maryland.