6th Sunday of Easter (Fr. Simham)
LIVE THE LOVE
“There’s an old Jewish parable about a soap-maker and a Rabbi. They’re out on a walk. The soap-maker says to the Rabbi, `Rabbi, what good is religion? What good is God? Look at all the misery in the world, what good does God do?` The Rabbi said, `That is a great question.` But then he didn’t answer it. They just kept walking along. They came across some kids who were playing in the dirt. The Rabbi said, `Look at those kids. You’re a soap-maker and you say that soap makes people clean, but look how dirty those kids are. What good does soap do?` The soap-maker said, `Well, Rabbi, soap doesn’t do any good unless you use it.`”
Well dear friends, Religion does not do any good unless you live it. “God does not do any good unless you obey him.” There is an old saying you can take the horse to the water, it is up to the horse to drink or not. So also God shows you the way how to live and it up to you to obey him or not. I already told you sometime back that Religion is a way of life. Jesus came to teach us the way. And in today’s gospel he says “He who loves me will keep my commandments” which means ‘he will follow the way or guidelines I taught them. He will obey me.’
Unfortunately we live in an age where law and commandments and control are rejected. Individual freedom and independence are stressed to the extent that Crime and violence are increasing at a fearful rate. Among millions of people there is practically no respect for law or constituted authority, either of God, or of man! On the international scene, nations live in fear because they very well know that the so-called “guarantees” and treaties of peace are not worth the paper on which they are written. There is no law—no respect for authority—among the nations of the world.
But still I always wonder ‘Can you imagine a world without law and order.’ No we cannot. World without order is like body without bones.Law and order is part and parcel of the universe. Look at universe there is a hidden law and order in the universe. Newton’s law of motion or Einstein’s theory of relativity. These are all nothing but discovery of the laws of the universe. Universe follows some laws or rules. Earth takes 365 days to move one round around the Sun. Nothing less or nothing more. Moon take 28 days to go around the earth. There is order. Because of this there is night and day, summer and winter etc.
Where the law is obeyed there is order. Where there is order there you find life smooth. Take for example the traffic rules. Drive on your left. Speed limit and level crossings. They restrict your freedom. But they are for your safety. So also the commandments.
The first thing we must understand is the ten commandments were never intended to be an end in themselves. The primary purpose of the law is to restore RELATIONSHIP between God and man and establish the foundation for RELATIONSHIP with one another. The commandments are like signposts guiding us on the road to this end. Without such understanding, the Ten Commandments are merely a set of rules that lead to death, discouragement, and pride.
What make you to obey they laws? Is it fear of punishment or the love for the law giver. Jesus is proposing ‘a love for him’ that should instigate them to obey his commands. Because fear remains as long as the person remains but love remains for ever. He is going to go away and what is going to remain with them are the principles he taught them. It is these principles and commandments that are going to keep him alive in in their midst and in the midst community of believers. So he asks them to obey his commandments and principles so that he may be alive through them in the community.
Even today it is ‘our living the gospel’ that keeps him alive in the world. “Word-proclaimed” is like building the house on the sand but “word-lived” is like a house built on a rock that cannot be shaken. “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the gales blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” 2000 years the church still survives in spite of many storms and gales within and without, because it was founded of the rock of those who did not only heard or proclaimed the word but lived it or witnessed to it. People who loved him to the point of death.“Blood of the martyrs was the seed of Christianity.” There is no greater love than to die for his friend. You are my friends if you obey what I command you. It is the love that gives life and obedience that shows love. Amen.
Fr. Showreelu Simham