If you love me, you will keep my commandments
There are many words we may say without really meaning them.
We say “Sorry” just to get us out of a situation.
We say “Thank you” when we are not really grateful.
We say we love someone out of routine or habit or to get what they want.
Yet the person who is truly sorry not only says so, but shows that sorrow by their attitude, their anguish, their desire to make amends.
The person who is really grateful shows their gratitude by their generosity of spirit and their joy in receiving.
And the one who truly loves does so not routinely or selfishly, but with caring and compassion.
Words are powerful, but deeds are more so.
We may say we are sorry to God for our sins, but it is true contrition, real regret which deserves from him the fulness of forgiveness.
We may thank God in prayer and song, but it is the gratitude which comes from the heart which really fills us with joy.
And we may say that we love God as he loves us - but it is the heart that loves God in the neighbour, that truly dwells in him.
‘Keep my commandments’ does not mean follow all the rules, but open your hearts to him, be filled with his grace, receive the gifts of the Spirit, the Spirit of truth who is with us for ever.
It means that if we love him, we will love our neighbour, and love his commandments, because they are the gift we make of our lives to him.