"Then, I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house down!" bellowed the Big Bad Wolf to the defiant little pigs, and each time - for the straw house and the stick house - he blew the house down. And each time, the little pigs ran and took shelter together in their friend's house, until, at last, they were safe within the sturdy brick home.
Today, Jesus tells us in the Gospel, that those who listen to his words and acts on them are like wise builders who build their houses on solid ground. For Jesus, it is the foundation that matters - not the construction material. In fact, he says that the rains and floods and winds will come - we are not immune to them. So, when we are buffeted by life's trials and difficulties, our question ought not to be "Why is God doing this to me?" but rather, "Is my foundation solid enough to stand?" Even if a house is damaged or destroyed, if the foundation is intact, we can rebuild. That relationship of faith in Jesus Christ is our firm foundation, and it is firm if we listen to his word and act on them.
Hurricane season begins today, and there is tell of a first named storm already lashing the Mexican-Central American coast. Many homes can be destroyed, but the faith that sustains the people - and us - can remain firm. It is faith that provides us with the perspective to see the good, even amid the bad; and it is faith that gives us hope for the future, so that we can rebuild and carry on.
Christ equips us to weather the storms and buffets of life. Our faith in him gives us the firm foundation to see that even in the midst of life's woes, God remains faithful. And that is all the reason we need to hope again.