Back in 2006, I was blessed to be on a mission trip with a group of teens from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We had the opportunity to go to New Orleans to work with the people who were suffering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. We were there one year after the hurricane had hit, but you would never know this by the devastation and destruction that we saw. You would have thought that the hurricane had just hit a few weeks prior. Yes, it was as bad as it looked on TV, and it was even worse being there in person.
But the one thing that struck me the most during our week there was how much hope the people of New Orleans had. We met so many people who firmly believed that everything would be okay and that things would return to a normal state of existence. These people had so much faith after losing everything. I was in complete awe. As in today's reading from Matthew, these people had built there houses on rock. (Not literally, but spiritually.) Despite all of the destruction, hope arises from the collapse.
In today's reading from 2 Kings, Jeremiah was warning the people of Israel of their abandonment of the worship of God, but they never listened. They built their houses on sand, and everything fell apart.
Today, it's easy to see that the same thing is happening in our world. Our spiritual neglect is leading us down a bad road. We need to get back to our spiritual and moral values: caring for our brothers and sisters, taking care of the poor, homeless, jobless, and defenseless. We need to embrace the life offered to us in Jesus Christ and love one another.