built in Landschafts Park Duisburg Nord
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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