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Monday, January 21, 2002

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St. Agnes

1 Samuel 15:16-23
Psalm 50
Mark 2:18-22

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how love obeys

"Saul answered Samuel: 'I did indeed obey the Lord.' " —1 Samuel 15:20

After blatantly disobeying God, Saul maintained he was obedient. This is typical behavior for human beings, even for Christians. For example, some Catholic Christians miss Sunday Mass, contracept, ingest pornography on TV, videos, or the Internet, or are racially prejudiced. Then, after committing these serious sins, they go to Holy Communion as if they were obedient to the Lord.

Many Christians, like Saul, believe the Lord's commands are relative and general rather than absolute and specific. When we maintain that we obey God "for the most part," this is more accurately called "disobedience." The Lord commands us to obey Him carefully and exactly (Dt 5:33) without "turning aside to the right or to the left" (Dt 5:32). The Lord came not to abolish but to fulfill "the smallest part of a letter" of the Law (Mt 5:18). Jesus obeyed His Father in detail. He did nothing and said nothing except what the Father told Him (Jn 5:19; 12:49).

When you love someone, you care about the details of expressing that love. You want everything to be perfect for the one you love. Obey Jesus accordingly.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to give me such love that I will obey You in detail.

Promise:  "The day will come, however, when the Groom will be taken away from them; on that day they will fast." —Mk 2:20

Praise:  As St. Agnes, a thirteen-year-old girl, was led to her martyrdom, she was as happy as a bride walking up the aisle to meet her groom. She kept her eyes ever fixed on Jesus (Heb 12:2).

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Obedience School, or our tape on Obeying God on video V-62 or audio AV 62-3.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, May 30, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2001