For the Love of God is This, That We Keep His Commandments
April 5, 2018
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,
“For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.”
The mercy of God is made manifest in the mercy we show toward one another. Sin divides us; God unites us. Sin burdens us and isolates us; God’s grace frees us to love one another. We are drawn to our brothers and sisters when they are in need, and they are drawn to us when we share of our gifts with them. Our charity contributes to the Divine Mercy whether we are sharing our wealth, our time in prayers of intercession for them, or our physical acts of kindness and assistance. Giving of ourselves is our way of making manifest for others the Mercy of God for them, and this draws us together in Christ.
If we find ourselves saying, “I don’t have time to give, to serve, to help others because I myself need help,” then we are in good company! Perhaps if we begin by sharing what little we have then others will be prompted to give as well. In this way we may encounter someone who can help us shoulder our particular burden—someone whose gifts correspond to our needs. But someone needs to start the exchange of gifts. One of us needs to be the first to be Christ to the other.
Jesus Himself started us off on this path to mutual support through self-gift. He gave everything for us, emptied Himself so that we might live and follow His example. We seek to be similarly selfless in our giving—to give for the sake of the other, rather than for what we might get in return. We do not wish to monetize grace or establish a barter system for mercy! We give in response to the love we have received from God. God’s Divine Mercy is precisely the free gift of self that frees us from our burdens of selfishness, pride, and suspicion. I give so that others might know God’s love as I have come to know it, and I trust that God will inspire others who will provide for what I need. I trust that God’s Mercy will care for me, and I do my best to be that Providence for others.
This is the way in which keeping God’s commandments will allow us to conquer this world of sin. Our generosity will conquer our selfishness. Our humble self-gift will destroy our self-serving pride. Our honest desire to care for others without cost will shatter the barriers of fear and suspicion that separate us in this life. Our living out of God’s commandments of mercy will be the heavy artillery that destroys death forever and opens for us the perfect union with God that is the Kingdom of Heaven.