Will the Love of God Be Found in You?

"You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you." - Psalm 63:1-5

Prayer: Lord help me to know and understand Your will for me in my life, that I may be able to follow You unreservedly. Help me to see You and Your desire for me in all things. Amen.

Will the Love of God Be Found in You?

Today with both our first reading and our Gospel it is important to remember that in understanding scripture we need to keep in mind the type of literature that the passage we are reading is. If we just read the passages as a straightforward account of details we wonder, why is it that God would say to Moses, "I see how stiff-necked this people is. Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them. Then I will make of you a great nation." This moment in scripture is to reveal Moses's role as a mediator for the people of Israel and to communicate that it is not God's will that we would be destroyed, but to be transformed and made new. For the Israelites they were to do the task of becoming God's people to let God change their ways and ultimately their hearts. To change their hearts is not an easy task. 

In this story the Israelites are overcome by the presence of God. He is too much for them. They beg to have Moses speak to them rather than God directly speaking to them. This is a reduction in hearing God's voice and will for them, but Moses is a good mediator. Then Moses as the mediator has to go and speak to God alone. As Moses is gone for too long then the people draw away from God and Moses and make an idol for themselves. They want a simple God who they can see and understand. The result is a statue that has eyes but cannot see, ears, but cannot hear, nose, but cannot smell, is a beast, a calf rather than something greater than man. They worship something far less than God, in a sense their own wills. The one who follows their own will independently of God's is guilty of a kind of idolatry. Instead of worshiping and adoring God's will, they worship their own will.

Jesus, He came to do the Father's will and not His own. Jesus gives us the example of how we find the love of God in our hearts, it is to see God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit for who they are and how they interact with us. Jesus in the chapter 5 is continuing to reveal divine things to us. The literary style that John in his gospel uses is that of a court case. Jesus is giving His testimony and explanation of why He can cure on the Sabbath and in doing so revealing to us more of God's plan and what Jesus Himself came to accomplish. Where I want to direct our attention to is the words, "And you do not have his word remaining in you, because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent." And then later on, "I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me." And in the end Jesus says that it will be Moses who will condemn them for their unbelief.

Here again in the Gospel passage we see that we do not want to reduce God, His words, and His work. To reduce them is to reject them and in a sense produce our own will. Then we are not like Jesus, we do not seek Him or to do the will of the one who sent Him.

So, I am not sure how clear I have been today, but the point is this: If we love God, we follow His commands and ponder His words. When we do these in prayer, then we can understand God, His plan of salvation, and His will for our lives better. Then following Him in this way we can see and do His will and Love of God will be what is in our hearts.

May God richly bless you!

-Fr. Jeremy


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