Then he says, â€œBehold, I come to do your will.â€ He takes away the first to establish the second. By this â€œwill,â€ we have been consecrated through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ.
This Advent we focus on the promises of God. We have provided a handy follow along book of reflections and devotions covering thirty promises of God broken down under the categories of hope, peace, joy, and love. This final week we reflect on Godâ€™s promise of love.
Remember that promises from God are things we can absolutely count on. We have perfect assurance that Godâ€™s promise of love will be fulfilled. We know this more so because God has shown us by His outward action that His love is perfect and all giving.
St. Paul is reflecting on that very fact in todayâ€™s Epistle. He calls our attention, once again, to the fact that Jesus, the Son of God, came to once and for all consecrate us â€“ that is to make us holy and pleasing to His Father. He would do this, not through the sin offerings of people, which God did not delight in, but through the love offering of Himself, the perfect sacrifice as willed by the Father.
It is key for us to focus on the value of offerings. You see, the sin sacrifices of people could never compensate God for what they had done. Rather, its key metric was in the way it forced people to evaluate, in a tangible way, the cost of what they had done.
Now if a person were really dedicated to loving God, they would say the cost is too high. I must rather turn away from sin and by doing so, not suffer the cost consequences. But the people never did change, they got caught up in paying to play. Their hearts remained hard, not like the hearts of flesh God wished them to have. For them, it boiled down to an equation in the Law.
To change the equation, to fully carry out the will of the Father, His Son, Jesus, had to step up and say yes. He had to give His love totally to the Father in sacrifice. By doing so He carried out the Fatherâ€™s will for us.
Jesus carried out the Fatherâ€™s love mission. He destroyed the old equation of cost sacrifices and says to us, come, live in my love. St. Johnâ€™s repeats Jesusâ€™ words: â€œAs the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.â€
The choice is clear. We have met our God Who gave Himself as sacrifice. We cannot pay, there is no option for that, so we must choose to dedicate ourselves to Him, to live in His love. If we make that choice, we are among those made holy by Godâ€™s perfect love gift.
In the face of Godâ€™s love, Mary served, Elizabeth proclaimed, and John leapt. In the face of Godâ€™s love, we must also serve, proclaim, and leap, not to pay, but as sign of love in our consecrated lives.