Scripture Reading: Psalms 103:17-18
Today the good Lord wants us to reflect on the type of obedience that occurs as a result of our fidelity in God’s command. It is called covenanted obedience, a kind of obedience drawn from the true understanding of how faithful God is. As children of God, called to divine obedience, we often overlook, as the word of God is being deposited into our hearts, we respond differently. As we gather in church, and the word of God is released, the message that we receive is acted upon differently by different people. What level of obedience do you accord to the word of God? We have people who operate at zero-obedience to the word of God and this comes from the fact that the heart that received the message is a hardened one as Jesus explained by the parable of the sower. Jesus said, “The seeds that fell along the path stand for those who hear; but the Devil comes and takes the message away from their hearts in order to keep them from believing and being saved.” (Luke 8:12) Going further on the levels of obedience, we have the superficial obedience, that is, obedience that is not in-depth, such obedience is shallow because the word was received in this type of heart Jesus describes thus, “The seeds that fell on rocky ground stand for those who hear the message and receive it gladly. But it does not sink deep into them; they believe only for a while but when the time of testing comes, they fall away.” (Luke 8:13) It is important to have an understanding about the grave need to be obedient to the word of God. We should be cautious of the type of obedience we will accord to it. Another level of obedience is the distracted obedience. In this type of obedience, you make up your mind not to obey the word of God, because of worldly distractions which can be anything. In such cases, you forget that your life is a gift from God and should be spent pleasing Him. Jesus tells us the kind of heart that falls victim to this type of obedience thus, “The seeds that fell among thorn bushes stand for those who hear; but the worries and riches and pleasures of this life crowd in and choke them, and their fruit never ripens.” (Luke 8:14) The heart that obeys the Lord must be detached from worldly attachments. Finally we talk about the obedience that counts,
the Abrahamic kind of obedience, Joseph’s kind of obedience, Daniel’s kind of obedience, Noah’s kind of obedience, Simon and Anne’s kind of obedience, Mary Mother of Jesus kind of obedience, St. Pio’s kind of obedience, in fact, Jesus the Lord kind of obedience. The list is not complete until your own obedience is recognized too. It is the divine obedience that is drawn from fidelity to God’s command. The heart that receives this message was aptly described by Spurgeon, “As a garden where the best flower in the world grows”. And Luke 8:14 complements it thus, “The seeds that fell in good soil stand for those who hear the message and retain it in a good and obedient heart, and they persist until they bear fruit.” Dear child of God, the big question presented before us today is: “What type of obedience do you accord to the word of God you hear?” When we operate in fidelity to God’s word, it commands the kind of blessings that is always exceptional, this is why it can be argued that some are blessed or favoured more than others. Abraham acted in fidelity to God’s command, God blessed him exceptionally.
Is 4:2-6; Ps 122:1-2.3-4ab.4cd-5.6-7.8-9 (R. 1); Accl Ps 80:3b-4; Mt 8:5-11
1. Thank God for another message on the obedience to His word.
2. God, let me exhibit obedience to Your word through being faithful to Your command in Jesus name.
3. Lord, help my obedience to be an in-depth one in Jesus name.
4. Guide my heart O Lord, so that it is sensitive to Your word. Destroy every hardened spirit within me.
Exercise: Take meditatively the “Prayer of St. Padre Pio.
Memory Verse: 1Samuel 15:22