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Love Finds a Way – As Seen in a Commercial

December 30, 2016 4 Comments

1230-blogOne of the more poorly translated (into English) verses of the Bible is this one: If you love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15). This gives the impression that the commandments are an imposition on us and that we prove our love for the Lord by keeping them through our own human effort. The verse thus translated could be interpreted to mean this: “If you really love me, prove it by keeping my commandments.”

But the verb translated here as the imperative “keep” is not an imperative in the Greek text. The Greek word used is τηρήσετε (tērēsete), a future active indicative verb form, better translated as “you will keep.” A more literal translation of the verse would be this: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

This changes the tone of the verse and helps to show that the keeping of the commandments is the fruit of love rather than evidence that we are proving our love through human effort. In effect, the verse can mean this: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments with a joy and enthusiasm because lovers like to please their beloved.”

Love can take a difficult task and make it joyful for us because we know that our beloved is pleased. We are happy to please people whom we love.

This commercial shows the draw of love even when the task is difficult. Love empowers us to overcome obstacles to be with our beloved. Are we this way with prayer, or getting to Mass, or keeping the commandments? There may be times when we are reasonably hindered from such things, but overall, do we resist distractions and difficulties or do we just give up? Do lovers give up easily or does love find a way?

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Comments (4)

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  1. Nick says:

    The Magisterium translates it thus: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

    Source: http://www.usccb.org/bible/john/14:15

  2. Bee Bee says:

    When I read that verse I hear something like, “If you love me the things I have told you to do will flow out of you automatically as a part of your nature. Just as a bird flies because of it’s wings, when you love Me you will act in ways that are My ways. My ways will become a part of your nature. When you begin to love Me you will not have to force yourself to conform to My Commandments as if they were onerous, but you will begin to do them as something natural to you. My Commandments will just be who you are.”

    • Cory says:

      Thank you.

      Beautifully expressed.

      This is what I have always said myself upon reflecting on Jer 31:33 But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

      When the Law of God is written in our hearts, then we will love the Law of God.

  3. Larry says:

    A couple days ago, I wrote a comment asking Msgr Pope to consider writing articles like those that he wrote in 2014 about the difficulties faced by single (the young, and the not so young) Catholics wanting to meet and date other single Catholics.

    Was my comment rejected? If so I would like to know why.

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