WORD Alive by Fr Bel San Luis SVD
6th Sunday of Easter, May 24 2019
Once a Jew was arguing with a Christian. “Your whole religion is based on ours,” the Jew said. “Why, you even took the 10 Commandments from us.”
“We may have taken them,” said the Christian, “but you certainly can’t say we’ve kept them.”
In this 6th Easter Sunday, Christ teaches that what’s crucial is not just possessing or knowing the commandments but OBEYING them.
The Lord says, “Anybody who receives my commandments and KEEPS them will be one who loves me,” (Jn 14,23).
When we were still kids, I recall how a spoiled brother of ours resented being ordered by our parents to do this or go an errand. Some years later, when he had a girlfriend who told him to do things that were difficult and inconvenient, he would obey—all for love!
When the two got married and became very familiar with each other, the loving feeling gradually wore out and, at times, even dried up.
The love for God is not a matter of feeling or mood but an obedient faith by following his commands or doing his will.
For many of us, we go to Sunday Mass because failure to do so is committing a mortal sin, and if we die unrepentant, we’ll go to hell. We obey God’s commandments out of fear of punishment. Normally, we don’t obey for the reason that he lovingly invites us to nourish us with his Body and Blood as spiritual food.
There are some who view God’s commandments as a burden or restriction to our freedom.
Take, for instance, God’s command to be faithful to one’s spouse. Some men feel restricted of their freedom to enjoy the company of other women. Such escapades, however, can lead to infidelity that can cause bitter quarrels, deep wounds, and, worse, broken families.
There are also those who know God’s command: “Thou shalt not steal” but they don’t feel qualms of conscience plundering from the coffers of the government. With unabated corrupt practices, our country will have a hard time making economic progress.
As the Greek philosopher Plato puts it: “Poverty consists not in the decrease of man’s possessions, but in the increase of one’s greed.”
What’s vital is that we shouldn’t only know God’s command but, more importantly, implement it.
ASK YOURSELF: Why do I obey Jesus’ commandments? Do I do it out of fear of punishment or do I do it out of love to reciprocate his love for us? When I’m tempted to commit a wrong, do I think twice to think of the evil consequences?