Sin and death entered the world through disobedience (Rm 5:19). Salvation and eternal life came to us through the obedience of Jesus, Who obeyed His Father even to "death on a cross" (Phil 2:8). Thus, life is a matter of being obedient to God (see 1 Pt 1:2), and love is authentic only if we obey God's commandments (Jn 15:10). To obey the Lord is our delight (Ps 40:9), our food (Jn 4:34), and eternal life (Jn 3:36). To disobey the Lord is to put ourselves under a curse (Gal 3:10; Dt 27:26), to become slaves of the evil one (see Jn 8:34), and to "endure the wrath of God" (Jn 3:36).
In the next few weeks, as we approach the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, many of us may face some of our most difficult temptations to disobey the Lord. The devil may offer us very attractive bribes to disobey the Lord. If that doesn't work, he may threaten us with pain or even death. We must refuse to be intimidated (see Mt 10:26). We must say with the saints of all time: "Better for us to obey God than men!" (Acts 5:29)
Nihil obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 9, 2000
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2000
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