REFLECTION FOR TODAY
May 6, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. Jn. 15:10
Jesus in our gospel reference of today speaks to his disciples on the primacy of love and obedient. He tells them of his Father love, a love they seemed to be so slow to learn. He began by saying, “I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.” These two lines, taken side by side, provide a helpful unity of Jesus’ teaching regarding holy obedience to Him.
Jesus speaks first of the necessity of keeping His commandments. To some, this statement, when taken by itself, can seem burdensome, dictatorial, oppressive, and confining. But it is not because what Jesus teaches is that the effect of keeping His commandments is that we “remain in His love.” He further explains that He is not asking us to do anything that He Himself was not willing to do. He was obedient to the will of the Father, keeping the commandments of the Father to perfection.
So, as Christians, we should hear His command as a dictate flowing from His own freely lived choice to be obedient. As the Incarnate Son of God, He perfectly obeyed the Father in His human nature. The result was that He remained perfectly filled with the love of the Father. But that’s not all. Joy is also experienced in a “complete” way when we imitate Jesus’ perfect obedience.
How do we view holy obedience to the will of God today? Take, each of the Ten Commandments for example. Do we struggle with unwavering obedience to them? Do we see or experience them as oppressive and imposed limitations rather than what they truly are? When understood correctly, the Ten Commandments and every other dictate of the will of God, is exactly what we need, and even more so, exactly what we deeply desire in life.
We want interior order rather than chaos. We want integrity rather than fragility. We want joy rather than sadness. And we want unity with the love of God rather than the loss of God. The path to the life we so deeply desire is obedience to the commands of the will of God in all things.
Reflect, today, upon your immediate interior reaction to holy obedience. If you do find yourself resistant in any way to this teaching of Jesus, then that is a good sign that you need this teaching more than you may know. Try to look at obedience in the light of truth. Try to see that, deep down, your soul yearns for obedience and the interior order it brings. Examine, especially, any areas of obedience you struggle with and firmly recommit yourself to unwavering obedience to each command of our Lord.
My obedient Lord, You obeyed the will of Your Father in Heaven to perfection. Through this obedience, You not only experienced the full love and joy of the Father in Your human nature, You also set for us a perfect example and model for holiness. Help me to see the areas of my life in which I need to be more obedient, so that I, too, will share in Your holy life and that of the Father’s. Jesus, I trust in You.