I have always passionately loathed the word “obedience.” Despite the fact that this term has been drilled into my brain since my days of Catholic school, I had only ever known how to define obedience, but I lacked the heart knowledge of what it actually meant. For me it was the fourth commandment used in a more broad sense “Honor your father and mother”…and do exactly what everyone else who has authority over you (teachers included) say. I could do this. I could follow. Orders.
Ever since my childhood I had hoped to understand what obedience meant and I still kept surfacing it with the definition of “doing what others say” or “submitting yourself,” which both seemed negative. What about what I think? What about what I want? Does it not matter?
Fr. Lawrence’s homily on Sunday talked about encountering Christ. If you are like me, a lot of the times when we sit there in Mass we take in the message of the homily and somehow try to fit it into our week. We make use of it on our own terms sometimes and postpone that message until some later date. Little did I know that the message of the homily would hit me while Father was actually giving it. BOOM! I had an encounter with Christ in my own way. Though slightly unrelated to the homily, I realized sitting there in Mass that my definition of obedience was all mixed up. I realized that obedience does not mean blindly adhering to rules, but rather, willfully surrendering myself to the plan of the God who knows the deepest longings of MY heart, so that if I choose so, he can take me on the thrill of my life. The same goes for each of us. Therefore obedience itself is deeply rooted in trust. “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you” Jeremiah 29:11-12.
God hears our voice. He listens to our worries, our stress, and our opinions through prayer. And if we let him, somewhere along the line we will be at peace with the will of God in our life, because ultimately, he is driving. This peace is the realization we feel after we trust God and obediently follow the will of the one who knows and loves us.
Love you all,