Fr Richard's words reflecting on today's readings for the 32nd Friday of Ordinary Time
Keep the Commandments
"If anybody does not keep within the teaching of Christ but goes beyond it, he cannot have God with him: only those who keep to what he taught can have the Father and the Son with them." (2 Jn 9)
St John's teaching in today's reading is clear: to be a Christian we must follow God's Law. It reminds us that the Commandments are not just some "ideal" to aim for but to follow them is indispensable to our hope for eternal life. We cannot claim to be a good Christian, a good Catholic, if we persist in living contrary to one or more of the Commandments. This might seem a hard message, but St John points out that to live the Decalogue leads to the most important fruit: love. He says: "To love is to live according to His Commandments." (2 Jn 6)
Because of our human weakness due to original sin, there are times when we fail to love. There might even be times when we directly violate one of the Commandments. We know that the Lord is merciful. when we come to Him with contrite hearts, when we are resolved to sin no more. He waits for us in the Sacrament of Confession like the loving father waits for the contrite, Prodigal Son, eager to fling his arms around us and bestow upon us his forgiveness. There, Jesus heals us of our wounds and bestows upon us the grace to recommit our lives to observing God's Law. If we live in God's grace, then Jesus' prophecy about His second coming in today's Gospel will result in perpetual joy for us. We will be led by the Lord to eternal glory.