A mother was working abroad for five long years without holiday. She had endured loneliness and spent money wisely because she wanted to save money for her family especially for future of her ten year old son. Her vacation came eventually and very excited to be reunited with family. She brought them to a Mall for a family bonding and to treat her son for some fun. When they were at the toy section, her son started pointing his finger to everything he wanted in life. I wanted you to buy me all those toys. The poor momma wanted to pacify her child; try to tell him gently, mommy has no enough money to buy all your toys. Mommy, I thought you have a lot of money. So if you have no money, better for you to go back abroad so I can buy all my toys. She was in tears! Money is more precious than her presence.
Obedience is proper to mankind and never to God. The gospel reminds us of a woman who knows nothing about God because she was a Canaanite. She was right before Jesus not in the name of obedience to God but desperately just wanting something from God. Most likely, she is in us! Our understanding of prayer is to give the Lord our bucket list of needs. It seems that we are the ones dictating the tempo what do we like to happen in our life. We are unaware that all we want God is to be obedient to us rather than us be obedient to God. Prayer is truly like this, God dictates, we obey. We come to God in prayer not so much because we are in dire but in imitation of Jesus when He prayed in Gethsemane, Father, your will be done!
Obedience is a gift. Saint Paul said “for God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that He may be merciful to all”. Man was given the gift of freedom because He wanted us to personally choose and to obey God. He knows that by giving such power chances are we might not choose Him and it was exactly what happened. Man became disobedient to God and befriended with the devil. God’s mercy means that He allowed Jesus Christ to be with us in all things except sin so that we can learn obedience from Him and give us the power that we had lost in disobedience. God is like a philanthropist who had given us a brand new car so that we can make our living by driving to our workplace when we cannot afford to buy one. Likewise, Saint Paul reminds us that we have to make use of our freedom which we cannot have to achieve our most important goal. Let us be free to reach our destiny which is eternity.
Obedience is unconditional. An extract from the Prophet Isaiah said “maintain justice, and do what is right for soon my salvation will come and my deliverance will be revealed. Our obedience to God is being challenged in this time of pandemic. If God indeed is real, why He can’t stop or eradicate the rapid spread of this deadly virus? Why should we continue to submit ourselves to a God who cannot even give our imminent need? Why believe in Him when misfortunes are happening in our family? Isaiah reminds us, whether our needs are granted or not granted, we will unceasingly be obedient to God. I will still come to attend mass and pray, I will still love my neighbours, I will still observe God’s precepts because I am looking forward for the great deliverance. This revelation is greater than cure from our sickness, overwhelms our poverty and nothing compares to what we have lost because of our obedience to God. It is our salvation.