by BCBP admin

By Bro. Orlando Osorio, BCBP Cebu South

“l am the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me as you have said.”-Luke 1:38

1The general concept of obedience, both in the Old and New Testament, relates to hearing or hearkening to a higher authority; sort of placing oneself under someone by submitting to their authority and command. Biblical definition of obedience is to hear God’s word and to act accordingly. This involves the physical hearing that inspires the hearer and a belief or trust that in turn motivates the hearers to act in accordance with the speaker’s desires. Simply put… to hear, trust, submit, and total surrender to God and to obey His words.

Obedience, in the true sense of the word, is doing the will and seeking to please someone in authority; and as followers and believers in Christ Jesus, we refer to this “someone in authority” as our loving God.

Obedience to God proves our low for Him, demonstrates our faithfulness in Him, glorifies Him in the world and opens avenues of blessings. When God is obeyed, it usually comes from the heart as an act of devotion to Him. When we obey God, we can live a life of joy without shame, rooted deeply in the Lord and confident in our eternal hope.

God wants us to love and follow Him personally, not just an outward show or as devotion to earn points with Him. He just wants us to believe in Him, to love Him and to obey Him. Doing good deeds to our fellow men glorifies God and performing good deeds requires obedience to God, the one who calls on us to do good deeds. A Christian’s obedience to the will of God is a strong witness that God is at work in our lives and in the world.

Many Christians are trying so hard to discover the will of God that they lose the joy of the Lord. All we need to do is abide in Christ, maintain our first love for Him and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, and we will be in the will of God.

The evil one is the enemy of our soul. His mission is to keep us from being effective and fruitful in our witness. But although the evil one has great powers, he can never defeat us if we are completely yielded and obedient to Cod.

We are sometimes reluctant to completely entrust our lives to God, fearing that God may want to make a change in our plans. Yes, God will change our plans. His plans are infinitely better than the very best we, mortal creations of God, could ever conceive.

Is it not logical that the loving God who created us knows the purpose for which we were created better than we do? God gave His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us. Through His death on the cross, Christ has purchased us. “Shepherd the church of the Lord which He has won at the price of His own blood.” (Acts 20:28) Obedience is the true test of our love for God and the secret to discovering God’s will for our lives.

When the Blessed Virgin Mary gave her wholehearted “YES”, when she replied to the archangel Gabriel, “I am the servant of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38), mindful of what harm might befall her, the Blessed Virgin Mary willfully accepted the heavenly task placed upon her without hesitation. With this virtue of humility and obedience that the Blessed Virgin Mary displayed, she acquired a unique relationship with all three persons in the Blessed Trinity, when the Blessed Virgin Mary was: – Chosen by God the Father to be the mother of His Son – Chosen by God the Holy Spirit to be His virginal spouse for the incarnation of God the Son – Regarded by God the Son as His mother Endowed with all these attributes, the Blessed Virgin Mary rightfully deserves the title of Queen of Heaven and Earth. “A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and the crown of twelve stars on her head” (Revelation 12:1). This queen is also our mother, our loving spiritual mother who is instrumental in the salvation of mankind.
The life of the Blessed Virgin Mary has not been narrated in detail in the Bible. Every time the Blessed Virgin Mary is mentioned, it has always something to do with Jesus Christ; after all, she was the mother of our Lord. Pictured as a loving, caring and devoted mother to her Son, the Blessed Virgin Mary was with our Lord Jesus Christ from birth, His childhood, His ministry, His crucifixion and death on the cross, His resurrection from the dead, until His glorious ascension into heaven. One of the important events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary was at the wedding in Cana. Mary was instrumental in calling the attention of Jesus when the wedding celebration ran out of wine. “Three days later, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus was also invited to the wedding with his disciples. When all the wine provided for the celebration have been served and they had run out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “they have no wine.” Jesus replied, “Woman, your thoughts are not mine! My hour has not yet come.” However, his mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Jesus said to the servants “Fill the jars with water” and they filled them to the brim. Then Jesus said, “Now draw some out and take it to the steward.” So they did. The steward tasted the water that have become wine, without knowing from where it had come; for only the servants who had drawn the water knew.”(John 2:1-9)

This is the first recorded miracle of Jesus. Jesus, although reluctant to perform the miracle, could not resist the prodding of His mother; and being the obedient Son that He is, changed water into wine. This perhaps is our source of inspiration for our strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, our way to the heart of Jesus through Mary. A gracious advocate to our loving and forgiving God, we unceasingly seek the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, filled with confidence that God has committed to Mary the treasures of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through Mary we may obtain every hope, every grace, and God’s faithfulness.

We venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary in as many ways as the Blessed Virgin Mary presented herself to us, in all her apparitions.

One of the most popular devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary is the perpetual novena to our Mother of Perpetual Help, of which I, personally, experienced countless blessings received through the intercession of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. We regard the Blessed Virgin Mary as our mother in whom we can always call on in times of need and in times of thanksgiving. Although the Blessed Virgin Mary may not be our mother in the physical sense, she can be considered our spiritual mother because she conceived, gave birth and nurtured the spiritual lives of each person.

Another popular devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is by praying the Holy Rosary, of which the month of October is dedicated. The Holy Rosary was introduced into the Catholic Church by St. Dominic. The Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary was said to have appeared to St. Dominic urging and inspiring him to preach the Rosary for the forgiveness of sins and conversion of sinners.

In a message by Pope John Paul II, when he declared the year 2003 as the year of the Holy Rosary, he said, “our entire perfection consists in being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus Christ. Hence, the most perfect of all devotions is undoubtedly that which conforms, unites and consecrates us most perfectly to Jesus Christ. Now, since Mary is of all creatures the one most conformed to Jesus Christ, it follows that among all devotions that which most consecrates and conforms a soul to our Lord is devotion to Mary, his Holy Mother, and that the more a soul is consecrated to her, the more it will be consecrated to Jesus Christ.”

A modem day staunch advocate of the Holy Rosary was Fr. Patrick Peyton. He once said that “the family that prays together stays together. A world at prayer is a world at peace.” This has become a byword in every prayerful home.

In Jesus Christ and in the Blessed Virgin Mary, we find the perfect model of obedience. As Jesus Christ’s disciples, we follow Christ’s examples as well as His commands. Our motivation for obedience is love. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

The bible teaches us to be obedient to God, but it is important to remember and bear in mind that this “obedience” to God does not make us in any way “justified” or “made righteous.” Salvation is a free gift of God and we can do nothing to merit it. True Christian obedience flows from a heart of gratitude for the grace we have received from the Lord.

Let us not be dismayed or be disappointed if we feel we’re not getting anything by our total surrender and obedience to God for we have a loving, caring and, most of all, a just and righteous God. From the beginning of the Bible “and through your descendents all the nations of the earth will be blessed, all because you have obeyed me” (Genesis 22:18), until the later part of the Bible “Jesus replied: but even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” (Luke 11:28). “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” (James 1:22)

In a casual conversation with a close priest friend, he admitted that among the three vows he took when he was ordained-poverty, chastity, and obedience-he finds obedience the hardest. Although he did not elaborate, I share with him the same sentiments. Our human nature often dictates us to be self righteous and judgmental, blaming our human imperfections as our reason for disobeying God. Only Jesus Christ is perfect, therefore, only He could walk in sinless obedience. But if we allow the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, to transform us from within, we grow in holiness.

God is gracious. If we haven’t been living for Him, if we haven’t been following His commandments, if we have been building “treasures on earth” rather than “treasures in heaven,” we can be transformed by the blood of Jesus Christ. We can ask God for forgiveness, and He will give it; and He will choose to forget the sin. Conversion and transformation before it’s too late. Cod is glorified when He extends forgiveness- “I will put my laws in their hearts and I will write them on their minds… their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” (Hebrews 10:16-17)

Christ died for us and it is only fair that we do what He says for we are children of God and we are to do what He commands. We don’t obey in order to be saved. Salvation comes first and obedience should follow. Obedience should come from the heart, done because “we want to”, not because “we have to.” We believe that God’s commands are for our own good. Because of God’s great love for us, He does not give us unnecessary burdens. He has the wisdom to know how we should live, what works best for us, and all we have to do is to trust in our God. His perspective is much better than ours.

Source: Kaigsuonan

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