Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Humility of Obedience

A reflection on the Mass readings for Saturday, May 8, 2010 (Acts 16:1-10; John 15:18-21) by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB.

In the first reading today we see how the church structure was first established. It says, “They handed on to the people for observance the decisions reached by the apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem.”(Acts 16:3) It hasn’t changed. We are still obliged to respect and to do what we are asked by the Holy Father, the Cardinals, and Bishops.

What we hear next in the reading from the Acts of the Apostles shows us how we are to practice the discernment of spirits. It says, “they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit to preach the message in the province of Asia.” (Acts 16:6) I’m sure they prayed about where to go. Most of us have had the experience when we’re trying to do something that’s not of God, there’s a kind of wall we run into and you feel odd as you realize that there’s something in you that really isn’t quite right. It’s when we turn away from that path that God confirms us. We have to first decide to follow the will of God and only then does God confirm us. God isn’t always going to first confirm us and then let us act. And I think that’s partly for our humility. It can be scary to act on what you believe is God’s will because you know you could be wrong. But the key is to be open to hearing from the Holy Spirit through our superiors and leaders when it is wrong. We must have an open and humble heart that God can correct. We all have to be in a position of humility and to be willing to accept obedience.

We don’t all have a glorious vision like St. Paul did with God’s agenda given to us. Who wouldn’t love that?

In the Gospel reading today we hear Jesus say, “If they kept my word they will also keep yours.” (John 15:20) Obedience again. When you know the word of God within you, when you have that relationship with Him, you will recognize the voice of Christ and you’ll obey. You will know the shepherd’s voice and follow

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