No Love Without Obedience

Matthew 5:17-19
2Cor 3:4-11 / Psa 99

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. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 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 does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
(Matthew 5:17-19)

Reflection

Jesus always emphasized the sanctity and validity of Scripture. “Not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.” (Mt.5:18) Obedience to God’s laws and love are the two recurring themes in His teachings, two vital keys that we need to enter the gates of heaven. His love has transformed us, but we still need God’s commandments and decrees in Scripture to guide us to His kingdom. Together with the strength, perseverance and inspiration from the Holy Spirit, we constantly strive to learn and follow God’s Word assiduously, and in the process, earn the gifts of the Spirit in order that we can also teach His Good News to others. It becomes our major preoccupation, our mission, our joy and our life.

The love that our Lord Jesus teaches is our most potent tool for sanctification. 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, and be receptive to its teachings. Love for our community 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 community we experience our spiritual growth in the truths of the Gospel, and we credit this to our pastors. 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)

Our greatest model of faith and total obedience in the Old Testament is Abraham. Out of His love, trust and obedience to God, He was willing to sacrifice his only son Isaac whom he loved (Gen. 22). His love for God was far greater than his own life.

Lord God, we are inspired by Your words in Scripture: ‘Those who fear the Lord disobey not His words; those who love Him keep His ways.’ (Sirach 2:15) Keep us always faithful to all Your decrees, through the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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