4 May 2018
The commandments of Jesus aren’t necessarily an end in themselves. There’s a purpose behind them. And Jesus says as much in the gospel today: “I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.” And that, it appears, is the purpose of Jesus’ commandments: to open us up to God the Father, the Source of...everything.
Jesus says, “Love one another.” He says, “Love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind.” Jesus even speaks through the Church—we see this in the Acts of the Apostles. “The Apostles and presbyters, in agreement with the whole Church,” sent an exhortation—a little list of things to do—to a community of Christians. Jesus speaks, he commands, not to be a dictator, but so we can be opened up to friendship with God the Father...and all the angels and saints.
Before we had GPS, we’d get the map out of the glove compartment to see how to get from Point A to Point B. And that map is a help, it’s a guide. Well it’s the same with Jesus and his commandments. “Love one another, love God, keep the Sabbath, don’t kill, don’t covet,” and so on. They’re all a big map to help us get to God the Father—the Source, the Headwaters, the Font, the One who’s even greater than Jesus.
So it’s good to listen to Jesus (because he knows how to get to where we want to go) and to follow what he says, as best we can—not so we can check the commandments off our to-do list, but so we can follow the path they form; a path through this life and onto the Holy City, where God our Divine Friend lives and makes a home for us.