Jesus said to his disciples: "Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him." Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, "Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me. "I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name-- he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you."
Introductory Prayer: I believe Lord your words are the words of eternal life. As I begin this intimate dialogue with you, Lord, I humbly kneel in your presence. Free my heart from all fear to surrender my will to yours.
Petition: Jesus meek and humble of heart make my heart more like yours. Place your will in my heart and your word on my lips. May your will be done in my conformity to your law of love.
1. The Commandment of Love
In medieval times, a maiden would often entrust her valiant knight with a pledge as a symbol of her love: a pendant, a handkerchief, a lock of hair. Christ gives us his pledge in the commandments. Many will say “Lord, Lord” (Cf. Matthew 7:21), but only those who do God’s will can enter his Kingdom. To love God is to do his will, and to do his will is to be loved by him.
2. Love Is Not a Burden
To command is to have authority. Christ taught his disciples that the Christian’s authority is not like those who lord it over their servants; rather it is to love and serve the souls under their care. The same is applicable too to the authority of the commandments. Divine and Church laws are at the service of our human freedom and not a burdensome yoke or repression to our pursuit of happiness. Our fallen nature resists the reins of the commandments, like an unbroken horse fighting against bridle and bit. Yet once the horse surrenders to the reins, it becomes empowered to do more than aimlessly graze and plod in the fields. Is my perception of the commandments one of repression? or through faith can I see how Christ forges my heart to love like the saints?
3. Love and Do as You Will
Have you ever had a friend you could trust enough to tell you the truth when others would rather just flatter you? We have such a friend in the Holy Spirit. Many times our consciences are muddled by soothsayers around us who assure us that our actions are really not that bad: After all, “Everyone else does it.” In our heart, however, we know that Christ’s commandments are more than just “guidelines:” Your words Lord are truth and life! To love is to be free, and we are only free when we live in the truth of who we are called to be in the eyes of God. The Holy Spirit is with us until the end of time to softly and persuasively speak the Father’s will for our lives in the sanctuary of our conscience.
Conversation with Christ: Holy Spirit grant to me a docile heart to seek in God’s word the truth of who I am. Grant me faith to see the commandments as the key that opens the lock of my heart to love in freedom and truth.
Resolution: Ignorance of our faith is often the reason why we are opposed to following the moral laws. Today I will read through a part of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, under the section of the commandments, in order to give reason to the faith I profess.