Tuesday, February 5, 2013

More Than Words

When I go grocery shopping in the commissary early on a Tuesday morning, it is so quiet I can actually hear the songs playing on the store’s radio.  This morning I heard Extreme’s More Than Words.  While I’m not advocating taking a rock band’s lyrics as gospel, I thought the words were rather appropriate for what should be our attitude toward God.  (I am not sure about copyright issues so I plan to use short quotes, not the whole song).

If you love Me you will keep My commandments.
(John 14:15, NJB)

Have you ever seen t-shirts that say, "I heart Jesus" or "I love the Bible" or something like that.  Do they really mean much?  The phrases “I love you” or “I love _____” are overused and tend to lose their veracity over time.  In the song, the singer says that he doesn’t want his girl to say “I love you.”  It’s not that he doesn’t like to hear it but that saying it doesn’t show him that she loves him.  He’s heard “I love you” enough; he wants to see love in her actions.

 You are My friends, if you do what I command you.
(John 15:14, NJB)
The singer says, “But if you only knew how easy, It would be to show me how you feel.  More than words is all you have to do to make it real.  Then you wouldn’t have to say that you love me, ‘cause I’d already know.”  What is it that the Church teaches us about our love for God?  We need to do more than just say it.  We need to show God how we feel.  It is not for Him, it is for us.  If you really love someone, you don’t just say it; you do things for the one you love.  You buy him/her gifts, flowers, treats.    

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,
and with all your mind….You must love your neighbor as yourself.
(Matthew 22:37, 39, NJB)

If everyone knew how easy it was to show God he loved Him, wouldn’t he?  It is, easy that is.  One of the best ways to show Him that you love Him is to take Him at His word.  He sent His Word, the Incarnate God/Man, to redeem us, the Holy Spirit to sanctify us and His Church to teach us and to guide us in His word.  We can receive the True Presence of Christ each and every day.  We can read Scripture and love our neighbor.  We can be patient and kind to our family, not just strangers and acquaintances.  We can do our best to be the best person we can to show God we love Him.
But you must do what the Word tells you and not just listen to it and deceive yourselves.
Anyone who listens to the Word and takes no action is like someone who looks
at his own features in a mirror and, once he has seen what he looks like,
goes off and immediately forgets it.
(James 1:22-24, NJB)

Really, “What would you say if I took those words away.  Then you couldn't make things new
Just by saying "I love you."  That’s why God blessed us with His Sacraments.  I am about to have my third class of second graders receiving the Sacrament of Confession in just under two weeks.  This is a great way to show God we love Him.  We go to confession to say we’re sorry for breaking His commandment to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves.  We do penance to make up for our sins.  This repairs our hearts to love again.
The wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure;
It is also peaceable, kindly and considerate;
It is full of mercy and shows itself by doing good.
(James 3:17, NJB)

Loving actions, loving deeds help us show in more than words how we feel about Him.  The more we do for Him, the more we show love for Him, the more we will feel the words, “I love you.”

A man came to Him and asked, “Master what good deed must I do to possess eternal life?”
Jesus said to Him, Why do you ask Me about what is good?  There is one alone who is good.  But if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.
He said, “Which ones?
Jesus replied, These: You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery.  You shall not steal. You shall not give false witness.  Honor your father and mother.  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The young man said to Him, “I have kept all these.  What more do I need to do?
Jesus said, “If you wish to be perfect, go and sell your possessions and give the money to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow Me.”
(Matthew  19:16-21)

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