Complete Joy

…just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in His love. (John 15:10)

Tuesday we meditated on how Christ’s obedience brings about our salvation and our freedom to be ourselves.

Let’s focus on this:  The intimacy of Christ’s obedience to the Father’s will.

lippi abraham knife strozzi chapel

‘This command I have from my Father:  that I must lay down my life, and then take it up again.’ (see John 10:18)

The “command” that led Christ to the cross is both clear and mysterious.  On the one hand, it all happened simply because Jesus unswervingly adhered to the Law of Moses.  He walked the earth as a true Jew.  The intimacy that Abraham had with God, which is what established the Jewish faith–Jesus lived according to that kind of prayerfulness, Abraham’s kind of prayerfulness.

On the other hand, the interior promptings the Lord Jesus received transcend our understanding:  Jesus wound up on the cross because of His honest testimony to the ultimate divine mystery, namely that He is God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity.  The “command” that Christ obeyed by enduring His Passion and death, therefore, can only be grasped fully from the divine point-of-view, not from ours.

I think the upshot for us is this:  ‘spirituality,’ ‘intimacy with God,’ ‘inner peace’–all of these come from obedience–obedience to the Commandments, and to the interior promptings that we receive when we consistently obey the Ten Commandments.

In other words, real ‘spirituality’ does not generally involve esoteric emotional experiences.  (Maybe people much more spiritual than me have these emotions.)

True joy does not consist of shallow feelings.  It involves daily obedience.  Obedience to the commandments enables us to perceive the promptings of God.  And those promptings tend to get harder and harder, less and less pleasant, as the Lord gives us the freedom to do what He asks of us.

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