God calls us to worship Him.
God calls us to worship Him – ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord…’ – and walk in His ways – ‘Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord’ (Isaiah 2:3,5). We are moving towards the Day when ‘the pride of men shall be humbled and brought low’, the Day when ‘the Lord alone will be exalted’ (Isaiah 2:11,12,17). How are we to get ready for the Return of our Lord Jesus Christ? God calls us to keep on worshipping Him. We are to encourage one another to keep on walking with God. ‘Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching’ (Hebrews 10:25). Let our pride be humbled and let the Lord be exalted as we await Christ’s Return in ‘faith’, looking to Him alone for our ‘salvation’ (1 Peter 1:7-9).
We learn how much Jesus loves us and He teaches us to love Him.
As I read, in Romans 13, Paul’s words about “the government”, I recall his experience of how he was protected by the law when he was sent from one Roman leader to another. The hand of the Lord was upon him – not just the hand of the law. Love sums up the Ten Commandment. It doesn’t dispense with them. It doesn’t mean that we now have a situation ethic, and we can set aside the Law of God. What it does mean is this: Our obedience to God’s law is to be carried out in the spirit of love. It’s not so much a legalistic way of living, in which the Law is the focus of our attention. We put Jesus at the centre of our life. We learn how much He loves us and He teaches us to love Him.Seeking to love the Lord, we see the Law of God through new eyes. It is no longer a taskmaster which batters us into unwilling submission. It is a guide that gives direction to our life of love for God and love for another. “It’s time for you to wake up. Our salvation is nearer now than when we first became believers. The night is almost over. So we should get rid of the things that belong to the dark, and take up the weapons that belong to the light” (Romans 13:11-12). The call to “wake up” is based on the nearness of “salvation.” We’re not to hold on to the things that will have no place in the future which is coming – our eternal salvation. Preparing ourselves for His glory, we are to get rid of the things that hinder our spiritual progress towards our glorious, heavenly destination. God has given us His “weapons” – to arm us for our battle against the “dark” (Romans 13:12). It’s better to “live in the light of day than to stumble around in the dark (Romans 13:13). We are walking in the light when we are looking to “the Lord Jesus Christ” and we’re learning to “live” for Him and “live like” Him (Romans 13:14).
Be ready at all times – doing the Lord’s will.
‘The times they are-a-changing’. There is, however, one thing that remains constant. Jesus says, ‘My words will not pass away’ (Matthew 24:35). In an age of unbelief, our faith is often under threat. We must stand upon this solid Rock: ‘The Word of the Lord stands forever’ (1 Peter 1:25). The scoffers will say, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’ (2 Peter 3:3-4). We are to believe that ‘He is near’ (Matthew 24:33). Christ has risen. He will return (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). When He returns need not concern us: ‘the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect’ (Matthew 24:44). We are to be ready at all times (Matthew 25:13) – doing the Lord’s will (46). We are to be ‘faithful and wise’ (Matthew 24:45). As ‘the bride of Christ’ (Revelation 19:7; 21:2), we await the Return of Christ our Bridegroom: ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet Him’ (Matthew 25:6).
The Bible readings are taken from the Catholic Lectionary – Year A.