Satan fighting with Jesus
The lack of obedience has wreaked
havoc even before the creation of the world, as well as in the beginning of the
world! How? A multitude of Heavenly Hosts---pure spirits
that we call angels—willfully decided to disobey God’s command. Lucifer or
Satan started it all by lifting up his clarion voice of defiance: “Non serviam!”-- I will not serve! In other words: I will not OBEY!
This elicited the battle in heaven,
presided over by Michael, the Prince of the Heavenly Hosts. The battle ensued and the good angels
prevailed winning the battle through the power and grace of God.
Adam and Eve disobeying
ADAM AND EVE. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, similar to
the angels had to pass a test of obedience. This time it was simply to avoid
touching the tree and its fruits in the middle of the Garden, the Tree of the
knowledge of good and evil. Like Satan and his minions, Adam and Eve followed
their own whims and disobeyed by eating of the forbidden fruit. This we call Original Sin, the first of all
sins of the human race.
This act of disobedience was like a
moral Tsunami that spread its influence throughout all times, places, cultures,
nations, continents, the world at large until the day of the Final Judgment,
the end of the world. All are born with Original Sin and experience its morally
as well as physically decaying influence. Concupiscence tugs us morally toward the mud
puddle and swamp of sinfulness and the body eventually decomposes resulting in
Saul disobeyed God
SAUL. The mighty and powerful warrior Saul
disobeyed God through the dictates of the prophet Samuel by not destroying all
of the spoils of the Amalekites in his military victory. Powerful in word, the prophet Samuel rebuked
Saul and warned him that God had now left him!
How scary—to be abandoned by God! But really it was Saul who first left
God through his willful disobedience.(Read I Samuel 15:16-23).
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT AND
OBEDIENCE. The whole concept of
obedience extends to the fourth commandment of the Decalogue: “You shall honor your father and your mother.” In children’s Mass, with children and parents
both present, I frequently ask the questions to the children: “Have
you ever heard the voice of God in your life?” Normally there is a
surprised silence! Children were never
asked this question! Then I rifle them
with these words of command very familiar to their ears! “Get up it is time to go to school! Turn off the TV/computer, it is time to
eat! Come now, it is time to pray the
Rosary! Please take out the trash and
throw it in the dumpster! Right now stop
fighting with your sister! Make your bed and clean your room! Get in the car right now, we are going to
Mass! Set the table for dinner! Clean
off the table and put the dishes in the dish-washer! Go in your room and do your homework,
now!” All of these commands and many
more, issued from the mouth of Mom and Dad, are clear manifestations of God’s
voice to children and should be obeyed immediately and without complaint!
Indeed God does speak through lawful
authority and through His commandments!
God also speaks through the Church, the Magisterium and the Holy Father
who is the Vicar of Christ. The voice
of God can be heard clearly through one’s Spiritual Director and
Confessor. Furthermore, God’s voice can
be expressed by Teachers, Catechists, and priests in their legitimate roles of
authority. These voices, which truly
represent the voice of God, should be heeded and obeyed with humility.
Once a foreigner came to visit the
United States of America and he made an acute observation: “How
interesting it is that in the United States the parents obey the commands of
the children!” What a powerful and
astute observation and gentle rebuke for parents and children in this country!
Three short comments by way of
exhortation to children, teens and young adults!
I will not obey!
1. OBEDIENCE TO PARENTS! The young must humbly recognize that God has
given them life through the instrumentality of their parents. They must have the eyes of faith and
humility of heart to recognize God’s voice is expressed through their
parents. Without obedience the totality
of the spiritual life comes to a quick halt; it is paralyzed! The best of examples is Jesus Himself. After being found in the temple after three
days of sorrowful search the Evangelist highlights that Jesus was obedient to
them and He grew in wisdom, age and grace before God and man. Even in the
Garden of Olives, immersed in a dreadful and mortal agony, Jesus said three
times: “Father not my will but yours be done!” The most famous prayer in the world, The Our
Father, we pray: “Thy Kingdom come, thy
will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Me? Obey? Never!!!!
2. READ SIRACH 3: 1-16. In the Bible, this passage is one of the
best on the theme of the duty of children toward their parents, specifically
in terms of respect, love and
obedience! Read and meditate just a few
“Children, pay heed to
a father’s right; do so that you may live. For the Lord sets a father in honor
over his children; a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons. He who
honors his father atones for his sins; he stores up riches who reveres his
mother. He who honors his father is gladdened by children, and when he prays he
is heard. He who reveres his father will live a long life; he who obeys the
Lord who brings comfort to his mother.” (Sirach 3:1-6) Read the following ten verses! Meditate and ponder them in your heart!
There can be no shadow of doubt that
upon reading prayerfully this short but powerful verse children and teens will
be convicted that it is their moral duty to see the presence of God in their
parents and humbly submit to them in obedience of mind, heart, will and action!
3. JOYFUL OBEDIENCE. There are various ways that one can carry
out an order of obedience. One way is forced obedience! A child may say “yes” to obedience, but
carry it out like a terrorist! A long
scowl on his face, murderous threats beneath his breath, curse words uttered
behind the back of his parents, loud and boisterous slamming of plates when he
is ordered to set the table! This rebellious and defiant attitude destroys
the obedience. How should it be done? For love of God, promptly, quickly,
joyfully, orderly, lovingly and permeated with gentleness and kindness. Before
the eyes of God--- God sees all even the secret intentions of our hearts---
this noble attitude pleases an all-loving God immensely! May the Blessed Virgin Mary who obeyed God
by her consent, “Behold I am the handmaid
of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word”, inspire children
and teens to learn that obedience is not slavery but the true freedom of the
children of God.”