Sandcastle,
built in Landschafts Park Duisburg Nord
© Alamy

Sandcastle,
built in Landschafts Park Duisburg Nord
© Alamy

Gospel of 1 December 2022

A stupid man builds his house on sand

Matthew 7: 21,24-27

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!’

Reflection on the Sandcastle

Our Gospel reading speaks of a violent storm ‘rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house’. We are told the house survived the storm because it was built on solid foundations. To translate this image to faith is not that hard to do. To regard faith as a ‘nice thing to have' whenever it is convenient and maybe when I am sad is reflective of a house built on shifting sands. The Gospel is calling us today to have solid foundations to our faith by reading Scripture regularly, going to mass, saying a little prayer throughout the day, etc… Solid foundations are needed, but they are not that hard to build. It is a mindset.

Probably the ultimate image of a house built on sand are actual sand castles. When children are building a sand castle, nothing in the world seems more important at that very moment than shaping it, making it look pretty, well balanced, and trying to protect it from the incoming sea waves or even protecting it from other children. Even the child senses that what he is building is impermanent. So each of knows deep down that what we are building in this world is impermanent.

There are over twenty amazing sand castle competitions around the world where semi-professionals take part. Our image is of a record breaking sand castle which gained an entry in the Guiness Book of Records in Landschafts Park Duisburg Nord, Germany, 2017. The creators used almost 4, 000 metric tonnes of sand. Nineteen sculptors were at work, shaping a 55ft tower featuring a number of famous landmarks to claim the world record for tallest sandcastle. The team spent more than three weeks working on the artwork, which included a replica of the Great Sphinx of Giza, Venice’s Rialto Bridge and the graveside of Elvis Presley. The sand castle was there one day, but gone the next.

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Andy Bocanegra
Member
Andy Bocanegra(@bogie29)
2 months ago

Our Lord made it pretty simple. The sensible thing to do is to root our faith in Him otherwise we are just being stupid. The storms will come regardless but if our faith is strong and rooted in Jesus we can withstand anything. Nothing is impossible with God. Thank you Patrick for your reflections.

Amica
Member
Amica(@amica)
2 months ago

Wonderful image and reflection!

Michael Trudeau
Member
Michael Trudeau(@michaeltrudeau)
2 months ago

Generally, I view the process of reading Scripture and learning from it as a serious matter; but the illustration of this passage with this image made me chuckle even as I start the day (6:30 am here) trying to build a little more on rock.

Silvina Tirabassi
Member
Silvina Tirabassi(@silvina-tirabasso)
2 months ago

Mirando este castillo de arena, recordé esas maravillosas palabras del Salmo 127:1-1, …que tanto tiempo dieron vuelta en mi mente, y ahora habitan mi espíritu:

“ Si el Señor no edifica la casa,
en vano trabajan los albañiles;
si el Señor no custodia la ciudad,
en vano vigila el centinela.”

Paz y bien!.

Charles Marriott
Member
Charles Marriott(@chazbo)
2 months ago

Paz y bien a ti (tu?) tambien!

Silvina Tirabassi
Member
Silvina Tirabassi(@silvina-tirabasso)
2 months ago

.. a vos 😁!

Carmen Montón Lecumberri
Member
Carmen Montón Lecumberri(@maria-lecumberri)
2 months ago

Good morning at all. What a sens of comfort to be part of the this community ! Today is my birthday you are a beautiful gift to mee.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace(@spaceforgrace)
2 months ago

Another visually stunning work today Patrick and as usual, a deep reflection with which to begin my day. We are made to create, and yet all our creations one day will end. Only what is of God will last and we fool ourselves if we think otherwise. Yet, we go on creating. Have a great day everyone!

Charles Marriott
Member
Charles Marriott(@chazbo)
2 months ago

I believe that some small amounts of cement are added to these massive castles so as they maintain some sort of shape.I wonder if the story of the three little piggies and the wolf blowing at their houses is derived from this story of Jesus.
Wise words from Our Lord!

Graham Barsby
Member
Graham Barsby(@barsbee)
2 months ago

Well, it’s not just children who like building sand castles at the seaside! Where I can get caught out is building sand castles in my mind, which when tested against reality or real people come crashing down. However, if I use my mind to reflect or meditate on Scripture then the results are much more positive.

Frances Riches
Member
Frances Riches(@frances-riches)
2 months ago

This evokes wonderful memories of building sandcastles with my father on earth . Time spent together

Charles Marriott
Member
Charles Marriott(@chazbo)
2 months ago
Reply to  Frances Riches

Well those memories are solidly founded! The best legacy a parent can leave their child.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace(@spaceforgrace)
2 months ago
Reply to  Frances Riches

We used to build boats too- happy memories of us all sitting in those boats made of sand- special times!

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Matthew 7:6,12-14

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10 March 2022

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25 June 2020

Matthew 7:21-29

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