Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Building on the Rock

President Obama recently gave a speech in which he referenced the Sermon on the Mount, in which Our Lord told the parable of the two men who built their houses, one on sand and the other on solid rock. The floods came and swept away the house built on sand, but the house built on rock remained standing.

The President went on to propose five pillars of rock on which we need to build our economy:

1. New rules for Wall Street - he says that the old rules rewarded reckless risk-taking. Investors aren't likely to jump back into the market if they know that the rules are going to be changed. They'll wait to see what the rules are, and then base their investments decisions on whether they can make money playing by the new rules. In other words, he's guaranteed stagnation in the markets.

2. New investments in education - when a Democrat says "investment" he means "spending," even though there's no guarantee that increased spending yields any better results.

3. New investments in renewable energy and technology - this might eventually have some benefit, but in the short term it's going to drive up energy costs, effectively acting as a brake on economic recovery.

4. New investments in health care - more spending for what, exactly? He says he wants to cut costs for families and businesses, but then who pays? The Government? With what? Oh yeah, taxes from families and businesses, but don't worry, he'll only tax the families and businesses that deserve to be taxed!

5. New savings in the federal budget - with all this "investment" going on, he still thinks he's going to save money in federal budget? Care to guess where he plans to "find" those savings?

I don't think that the five points proposed by the President are what Jesus had in mind when he told the parable.

On the other hand, Pope Benedict XVI proposes that we build our house on the Rock of Christ, which means to build on Christ and with Christ. "Building on Christ means basing all your desires, aspirations, dreams, ambitions and plans on his will. It means saying to yourself, to your family, to your friends, to the whole world and, above all to Christ: “Lord, in life I wish to do nothing against you, because you know what is best for me."

He warns that there will be rejection and misfortune. "Maybe it is easier to base one’s life on the shifting sands of one’s own worldview, building a future far from the word of Jesus and sometimes even opposed to it. Be assured that he who builds in this way is not prudent, because he wants to convince himself and others that in his life no storm will rage and no wave will strike his house. To be wise means to know that the solidity of a house depends on the choice of foundation. Do not be afraid to be wise; that is to say, do not be afraid to build on the rock!"

We need to build our personal lives on the Rock of Christ. As followers of Christ, it is our responsibility to carry our Christian principles into the marketplace. To endure, the economy needs to be built upon Christian principles as well. Even so, we cannot expect that there will be no storms, just that we will weather them.

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