19TH MAY 2022
LOVE IS ABOUT OBEDIENCE, OBEDIENCE IS ABOUT LOVE
PSALM 96:1-3. 10
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells His disciples,” If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” meaning that love involves obedience and you cannot separate one of them from the other. If you separate, it means that both will lose their relevance.
Imagine about a pen without ink, can it write? Or a car without fuel, can it move? Or a gun without a bullet, can it shoot? Or a watch without a battery, can it show the accurate time? Imagine about love without obedience…. How will it thrive to the point of bringing joy?
We just cannot love another person without some surrender of will. Surrender of the will means that you as a believer completely gives up your own will and subject your thoughts, ideas and deeds to the will and teachings of God freely and even in our human relations you have to surrender your will so that you can be with another person.
Think of the different relationships that you have in your spheres of life, what did you surrender for you to relate well and for you to love? Would you be together now without the surrender of your will?
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus is offering himself as the best example of obedient love in his relationship with God, his Father and this obedience is not under coercion but comes as a result of seeing, understanding, accepting and participating in the life of God.
It means further that when you love, it is no longer about you. Why? Because you have to offer that love to another person, you consider the other person and that is why if you continue reading today’s Gospel passage you will note Jesus saying,” Greater love has no than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
If Jesus is calling us to love God by keeping His
commandments, how do we tell the difference between right obedience and wrong obedience? Any time you are invited to obey, you need to ask yourself whether what you are being asked to do is, in fact, loving.
Is it right obedience if in the name of “love” you agree to sign a document that is forged so that the person you love can benefit? The command that Jesus gave His disciples was to love each other and love involves doing what is good and Jesus never told His disciples to do what is bad. In a deeper sense love means doing good deeds. Is there anything bad that Jesus called His disciples to do?
Since love and obedience are like us and our shadows on a hot sunny day, that is, they are inseparable. The call by Jesus to love gives us the opportunity to ponder if our obedience benefits another person and if it leads us to be more truly who we were created to be? Do you become less of who you are when you love obediently? You do not become.
Can we say that we currently live in a world in which people prefer not to obey because when you obey you will be called a weakling or you will be avoided by people who do not like obedience or because you will lose out on some benefits that come from disobedience?
Do things go wrong in our faith and in our society because we have separated love from obedience? What sacrifices are we ready to make so that we can love God and each other obediently?