27th Week in Ordinary Time

 

What do we profit by keeping his command?

 

The Israelites had been questioning God’s justice.   They saw people who had strayed yet still prospered.   Where was the fairness in that?   If God seemed to be blessing the wicked, they wondered, why should they bother following God’s laws (Malachi 3:14-15)?

The people could ask that question only because they were looking at their relationship with God as if it were a business contract.   They thought they could trade their obedience for his blessing.

But God doesn’t see his grace as something to be earned by his people’s compliance.   No, he wants a relationship of love and mutual self-giving.   So he reminds them just how much they mean to him and how much he wants to do for them.   Let’s spend a few minutes today pondering these beautiful images, which apply to us as well.

“My own special possession” (Malachi 3:17).   You aren’t some random person God has chosen on a whim to love.   He created you out of love, and he formed you in his own image.   Just as a pearl cannot cease to be a pearl—that is, change what it is—neither can you cease to be precious in God’s eyes.

“I will have compassion on them, as a man has compassion on his son”  (Malachi 3:17).   God loves you as his own and has made you his son or daughter.   Like any good earthly father, your heavenly Father’s love for you isn’t based on your performance.   He loves you even when you fail.   He loves you even when you sin!   And he is always ready to welcome you back when you return to him.

“The sun of justice with its healing rays . . .” (Malachi 3:20).   God promised the Israelites that they would eventually see justice done.   That promise is for you too.   Someday, if not in this life, then in the life to come, you will be healed of every injustice.   There will be no more pain or sorrow, no more tragedy.   All will be made right.

So what can we count on in this life?   We can’t count on immediate solutions to our problems and questions.   But we can count on God’s love and his constant desire to draw us closer to him.   As we hold fast to him, we will receive his love—the greatest “profit” of all (Malachi 3:14).

“Father, thank you for your faithful love!   Help me to respond with trust and obedience.”

Psalm 1:1-4, 6
Luke 11:5-13

Word Among Us