Ah?yes they are. Not on paper, but in practice. I am not talking the Ten Commandments here; those are relatively easy if we leave aside Jesus’ intensification of them in the Sermon on the Mount. I am talking the love commandments. You know, love God with all your heart, soul and strength, and your neighbour as yourself. Talk about tough. And what makes them even more difficult: they are a team. We need them both. To love only God is pietism; to love only our neighbour is philanthropy. Both good in and of themselves, but not what Jesus’ followers are called to do. Discipleship love is cross-shaped. Always.
There is nobody, from the Pope, through the Bishops, pastors, down to the youngest baptized Christian who can do it. Nobody. But?
John goes on to say, “whatever is born of God conquers the world.” We’re born of God through the waters of baptism. We are conquerors, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts in the form of a dove, the Spirit of the Living Christ. Because God’s Spirit indwells us, we have the capability to love, both God and neighbour as we ought. So, no, Jesus’ commandments are not burdensome; we can do them through his Spirit.
Holy Spirit, dwell in and through us. Amen. — DAB