The Value of Obedience
The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy. For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit. The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him. ( John 3:31-36)
“Do you believe in Jesus?” If we say we believe in Jesus, then the proof that we believe is in the way we live our lives, our attitudes towards life and death, and most of all, the desire to announce Christ to the whole world. If someone says that He believes in Christ but has no desire to share Him with the rest of humanity, that faith is put in question. Those who are baptized but are not witnessing to the faith already shows that their faith in the Lord is shallow or at most a nominal faith. That is why, when Catholics are not evangelical minded or when they lack the enthusiasm to share Christ and the Good News with others, it shows that their faith is weak and even individualistic. It is about themselves; not about others or doing the Father’s will. We know our faith is real and strong when, like the apostles, we cannot stop telling the world how wonderful this Jesus is to us and that He is the Son of God, the savior of the world.
So today, we are called to take our faith in Christ seriously. The choice is ours. Do we want life or death, blessings or curses, freedom or slavery? John the Baptist says, “Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life: the anger of God stays on him.” The truth is that if we accept Jesus, then we share in His eternal life.
How then can we acquire this faith? The irony of the answer is this: obedience in faith. In other words, just commend and entrust yourself to the Lord. The apostles declared, “we are witnesses to all this, we and the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.” By submitting in faith, the Holy Spirit will be given to us. Since unlike the apostles we have never seen the Lord ourselves, we need to experience Him in our lives. This personal encounter with Him requires faith. Faith is to trust and to open oneself to the other. When we do so, Jesus will give us the Holy Spirit.
What does the Holy Spirit do for us with respect to faith? He will reveal Jesus to us in our minds and hearts. He will show us that Jesus is the Lord and convict us of our sins. As we come to know Jesus, we will also come to know the Father. So the Holy Spirit is given to those who are obedient to those who are receptive. The Holy Spirit leads us to Jesus and empowers us to know and love Him. Thus, at baptism, in faith we accept Christ as our Lord and savior. In accepting Christ, we are baptized. We receive the Holy Spirit, who is the love of God in our hearts. With that deep experience of His love, we are also blessed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit to witness to Christ as our Lord and savior.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, I do want to let You do whatever You want in my life. I want to be fully immersed in Your grace. Help me to say “Yes” to You no matter what that leads to and help me to trust in this glorious “Yes” You are calling me to make. Jesus, I trust in You. Amen.
He allows us, then, to make the choice. Are we going to do it His way? Or are we going to do it our way? When we think about what that implies and then we think about what Our Lord told us in the Gospel, that whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, it puts it into clear perspective for us. To do it our way is going to lead us to eternal condemnation. To do it God’s way will lead to life.
- Posted in: Reflections