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Fr. Bob at pulpit during Easter Vigil

Obedience (Part 3)

I believe most of our problems with authority would disappear if only we could see it, not as a privilege or as an exercise of power, but as a gift. 

Obedience is God's way. Could there be a better example than Jesus himself? He said: "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me." (John 4:34) Jesus obeyed. In fact, he was obedient unto death. Did the Father bless his obedience?

"Jesus' death was the cause of the opening of the gates of life, the salvation of the whole world. Jesus' obedience was very richly blessed." 

Making the decision to obey requires a large measure of trust from us. We have to learn to trust the Lord to work out his purposes through the structures that he himself has established. Our decision to obey should be without strings attached. It should be to obey the Lord no matter what he chooses to speak, in whatever way he chooses to speak it, before we ever know what it might be. That's the kind of obedience he likes. That's the kind of obedience he will richly bless.

The strategy the Lord wants us to follow seems plain to me. He wants us to obey. He wants us to lift our superiors up in prayer and to trust him to work through them. 

As for me, I made the personal decision some years ago to be obedient in all things to my lawful superior, my bishop. I can only say that, though it has not always been easy, it has always been blessed. I have freely given up the luxury of pledging to obey the bishop provided what he was telling me to do agreed with what I thought the Holy Spirit was saying to me. It's been obedience first, last, and always. 

Still, obedience is just not 'in' these days, even in the Church. It is a very unpopular virtue. Too bad. I can't help feeling what a powerful revival could start in the Church if only we'd obey.

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