LOVE TO OBEY
“They came…in accord with the dictate in the law of the Lord.” –Luke 2:24
In today’s Gospel reading recounting the presentation of Jesus and the purification of Mary in the Temple, Mary and Joseph do everything according to the law of Moses. Mary presents herself in the Temple to be purified forty days after the “uncleanness” of childbirth, though this was unnecessary since she was sinless and ever pure (see Lv 12:6-8). Mary and Joseph offered their first-born Son, Jesus, to the Lord, though this was unnecessary because the Baby Jesus was God Himself. However, the law required the first-born son to be presented to the Lord (Ex 13:2). They brought two turtledoves, which shows they were poor. Those who were more prosperous would have offered a lamb (see Lv 12:6-8). They offered one of the doves as a “sin offering,” even though they had not sinned (see Lv 12:8).
As obedient and faithful Jews, Mary and Joseph obeyed the law gladly and exactly. Today, some Christians and Catholics short-circuit the commands of the Lord, cutting corners, choosing which commands of the Lord to obey and which to ignore. Today’s culture often overlooks the Lord’s commands on fornication, homosexual acts, contraception (Catechism 2357, 2396), relativism which ignores objective truth, Mass attendance on Sundays, submission to the Pope and the Magisterium, generosity to the poor, and many others.
It is not popular to obey the Lord. However, His commands are not burdensome (1 Jn 5:3). Show the Lord that you truly love Him; obey His commands (Jn 14:15).
PRAYER: Father, may I love You so much that I obey You always.
PROMISE: “The way we can be sure we are in union with Him is for the man who claims to abide in Him to conduct himself just as He did.” –1 Jn 2:5-6
PRAISE: King Henry II was moved to do public penance for the part he played in the death of St. Thomas Becket.