Friday, September 25, 2009

The Obedience of Jesus

1. Many people are anxious to be in a position to give orders, but very few wish to have to obey them. This is because there are so few humble men and so many who love to make a display. The moral of the Gospel in this regard is completely opposed to worldly standards. The Gospel shows us how the Word of God came down from the glory of Heaven in order to become man like us and to live for thirty years subject to Mary and Joseph. He became, moreover, obedient to death, even to death on the cross (Phil. 2:8). Therefore God also has exalted him and has bestowed upon him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven, on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:9-11). If we wish to follow Jesus, we must not aim at seeming important, but at becoming humble. We must not seek to command, but to obey. Then we shall also be taken up into the glory of God the Father, where we shall be rewarded for our humility and obedience. If we are placed by Divine Providence in a position of authority, let us accept it as a cross, as St. Pius X did when he was elected Pope. But let us remain essentially humble. Let us give orders pleasantly and gently, and act sternly only when it is absolutely necessary.

2. Obedience is an universal rule, without which there could be no harmony in the world. All creatures obey the laws of nature laid down by their Creator. The sun rises in the east, moves along its accustomed path everyday and every season, and sets in the west. The stars never leave the orbit arranged for them by the hand of God. The waves of the sea toss about when disturbed by the strength of the wind, but they fall back again without ever crossing the boundaries which God has set for them. Man alone dares to rebel against his Creator and against those who represent God on earth. Man alone dares to repeat the blasphemous cry of Satan: "I will not serve!" Remember the example which Jesus has given to us. Although He is God, the lord and master of heaven and earth, He condescends to obey Mary and Joseph, two creatures incapable of achieving anything without Him. He was subject to them (Luke 2:51). Let us learn from Him how to obey willingly and humbly. Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart (Mt. 11:29).

3. It is easier to practice the virtue of obedience when we remember that all power comes from God. Then we can see Him in those who have authority over us. This will prevent us obeying orders from secondary motives, such as the desire to please men or to avoid punishment. We shall be able to obey solely for the purpose of doing our duty and pleasing God. Many think that it is easier to command than to obey. They are mistaken. Anyone in authority has grave responsibility before God and men and can sin seriously as well. The man who is obedient to his lawful superiors in the name of God, however, can never go wrong. Reflect on the following exhortation of St. Paul, which still holds good in our times. Slaves, obey your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling in the sincerity of your heart, as you would Christ; not serving to the eye as pleasers of men, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart, giving your service with good will as to the Lord and not to men, in the knowledge that whatever good each does, the same he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is slave or freeman. And you, masters, do the same towards them, and give up threatening, knowing that their Lord who is also your Lord is in Heaven, and that with him there is no respect of persons (Eph. 6:5-9).

1 comment:

Alex said...

I thank you again for posting this. You will be in my Rosary tonight.