Sunday, 28 March 2010

Good Friday - Year C

Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12; Hebrews 4:14; 5:7-9; John 18:1 - 19:42

The struggle of our age, because it is the struggle of the human person, is the struggle of obedience. ‘Whom or what shall I obey?’

In practice this boils down to the question ‘Whom or what shall I believe?’ The options are endless. Shall I obey the teachings of my Church? Shall I obey public opinion? Shall I obey the latest fad? Shall I obey myself?

To do something out of obedience to a higher authority is to accept the rights of the higher authority.

This is the struggle of our times, this is the struggle of all human beings. Who to obey? Who shall be my higher authority?

We Catholics have chosen to obey the teachings of God, as they are taught us by Jesus through his Church. When we obey the Church we know we are obeying Jesus, and when we obey Jesus we know we are obeying the Father.

Today we struggle with obedience perhaps more than at any other time in human history. We have become used to choosing for ourselves the bits and pieces of various ideologies we find attractive and we follow them. In a particular way this is the sign of the end times when 'men and women will follow the dictates of their own hearts.'

This, of course, was the sin of Adam and Eve - they disobeyed.

God spoke a word to them which set a limit to their human rights. Of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you must not eat.

Adam and Eve disobeyed the word of God, they followed the lies of the serpent and ate.

Their sin was disobedience and could only be redeemed by obedience. Have you considered that we were actually saved by obedience?

For just as through the disobedience of one person the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:19)

Someone should make a bumper sticker: Obedience Saves.

It is through the pipeline of obedience that salvation flows. Jesus understood this: Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done. (Luke 22:42

My will. How we love our will!

But I want this ... I want that ... Let my will be done! I will accept this teaching but not that one. I will obey that commandment but not that one because in my opinion that commandment is wrong. The Church teaches that's a sin, but I don't agree. The Church says I have an obligation to do this, but I don't think so.

How sad! And how impossible to correct such attitudes. People are very attached to their opinions. I have my opinions, you have your opinions, the Church has her opinions, and Jesus has his opinions. But my opinions are the best of all!

When we disobey grace does not flow, salvation does not happen. Disobedience is the hallmark of Satan and his followers who proclaimed: non serviam! - I will not serve!

Obedience is the hallmark of true disciples. Mary said: fiat! - Let it be done to me!

Jesus obeyed! Jesus served! Jesus gave up his own will to obey the will of God, his Father. Obedience is the hallmark of those on the road to salvation!

St Paul in his preaching and teaching spoke about the obedience of faith (Romans 1). May this phrase push aside all our beloved opinions so that we may walk the path of life.

2 comments:

Janet said...

Yes! Brilliant! Thank you.
When you put it like that, about our opinions being best of all, it really brings it home how silly we can be ... and how embarrassingly easy it is to fall into that thinking of 'my will be done'.

"I have my opinions, you have your opinions, the Church has her opinions, and Jesus has his opinions. But my opinions are the best of all!"

Anonymous said...

guessinThanks Father John, for all these truths. A lady in my parish once told me she makes her own rules! Sad to say, she was not joking.

How I wish she could hear this homily, well summed up in what indeed would be a great bumper sticker: Obedience saves.