God’s Laws and Love

Matthew 5: 17-19
Deut.4:1,5-9 / Psa 147

Whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:19)

Those who prefer not to obey
God’s laws forfeit heaven’s treasure,
Those who submit will find the way;
Obedience is love’s true measure.

Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter, or the smallest part of a letter, will by any means disappear from the Law until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5: 17-19)

Reflection

Jesus always emphasized the sacredness and validity of Scriptures. “Not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law until all things have taken place.” (Mt.5:18) Obedience to God’s laws and love are the two recurring themes in His teachings, two vital keys that are needed to open the gates of heaven. His love has transformed us, but we still need God’s decrees and ordinances in Scriptures to guide us to His kingdom. Together with the guidance and inspiration from the Holy Spirit, we strive to follow and learn God’s Word assiduously. In the process, we earn the gifts of the Holy Spirit which we employ to spread His Good News to others. It becomes our major preoccupation, our mission, our joy and our life.

The love that our Lord Jesus imparts to us is the most potent tool in our formation. It transforms our mediocrity into a passionate desire to keep God’s commandments. Love inspires humility and obedience to the law, and makes it easy to submit ourselves to authority, to be receptive to its teachings. Love for our Brotherhood makes submission sweet and natural. We know the difference between obedience dictated by fear and obedience dictated by love. We submit to our elders not because we fear them, but because we love them. Obedience also comes easy because in our Brotherhood we experience our spiritual growth in the truths of the Gospel, and we credit this to the teachers of our community. St. Peter wrote, “Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely with a pure heart.” (1 Pet 1:22)

Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments… He who has received My commandments, and keep them, is the one who loves me…If a man loves me, he will keep my words…He who loves me not keeps not my commandments.” (Jn.14:15-24)

The books of the Old Testament have never become antiquated or insignificant even in this present age. Contrary to what unbelievers say, the laws of God, like the Ten Commandments will never become obsolete. They are in fact absolute, and will never change. Honoring one’s parents, the sanctity of life, the sacredness of sex and marriage, the worship of One God, respecting the property of others, honesty in one’s dealings—these are all, like God Himself, timeless and unchanging.

Those who fear the Lord disobey not His words; those who love Him keep His ways. (Sir.2:15) Let me never forget Your laws in my life, dear God, as long as I live. For they are the light that keeps me from stumbling, the discipline that I need in order to grow strong in my faith, and persevere in times of trials and suffering. Amen.

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