True Love is Obedience

Matthew 5: 17-19
Dt 4:1,5-9/ Ps 147:12-13,15-16,19-20

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 not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law until all things have taken place. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly 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

We find in the Old Testament that our first great model of faith and obedience is Abraham. Out of His love, trust and obedience to God, He was willing to sacrifice his only son Isaac. (Gen. 22). His faith in God exceeded his love for his own son. Next to Abraham was Moses, through whom Yahweh God handed the Law, the Ten Commandments. God exalted Moses for his obedience and perseverance. The third major figure in the Old Testament was King David. Even though he had Yahweh’s Spirit with him, he still looked to the Law for guidance. (Psalms 119)

The examples and teachings of these three great patriarchs of old have not lost their significance in the course of mankind’s history. People nowadays need to know that the Ten Commandments, the Psalms, and the other books of the Old Testament have not become antiquated nor irrelevant. The law of God is as much in effect today as it was 3,400 years ago when God gave it to Moses in Mt. Sinai. It is because they think it has become irrelevant that many young people today indulge in drugs, engage in pre-marital sex, and are drawn to the so-called liberated faiths, like the New Age. We all need to constantly go back to the roots of our faith to understand the mysteries of God’s Word, and be guided in the path of righteousness.

Jesus never regarded the Scriptures as unimportant or irrelevant. In fact, in several Gospel accounts, He always quoted from the books of the Old Testament. For Him, the Scriptures were no less than the Word of God, bearing authority and power. We cannot say we believe in Jesus Christ if we reject the laws of the Old Testament. It would be a contradiction to say that we believe in the words of Jesus but not in the creation account, or the great flood in Noah’s time, or that the law was given by God to Moses in Mt. Sinai. If we don’t believe the Old Testament, how can we believe the One Who taught about them? We might as well be questioning the authority and relevance of Jesus Himself, Who never failed to emphasize the sacredness and validity of Scripture. “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) The books of the Old Testament have never become antiquated or insignificant even up to this present age. Contrary to what unbelievers say, the laws of God, like the Ten Commandments are not obsolete. As a matter of fact, they are 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. And if we disregard or violate them, then there will be a price to pay. It is our obligation to make this our major preoccupation, our mission, our joy and our way of life.

Those who fear the Lord disobey not His words; those who love Him keep His ways. (Sirach 2:15) It is by being faithful to all Your commands, O Lord, that I hope to be deserving of Your great love. Grant that I may never disobey even the least of the letter of Your commandments all the days of my life. Amen.

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