4th Sunday of Advent
You did not want what the Law lays down as the things to be offered, that is: sacrifices, the oblations, the holocausts and the sacrifices for sin, and you took no pleasure in them; and then he says: Here I am! I am coming to obey your will.
It’s really hard to obey the Lord sometimes. He asks of us things that we are sometimes unwilling to give up. I bet some of us, or some others we know, haggle with God when God asks them of something.
Some of us might say things like this:
- Lord, can I just go recite 100 rosaries instead of doing what you are asking me?
- Lord, can I just donate this amount of money instead of going there and volunteering?
- Lord, can I just pray for this person instead of talking to him?
Or maybe even other things. Well, we are indeed willing to sacrifice but sometimes, the sacrifices we want to do are not exactly the sacrifices God is asking of us. And in these cases, our obedience itself becomes a sacrifice.
I was once ‘complaining’ to a friend about being ‘bugged’ by God to do something other than what I was willing to do. Outwardly, and maybe from the worldly perspective, I was willing to do more than what God was asking of me. I had such an inner resistance, that my friend had to point out that what would make that action big in the eyes of God is when I sacrificed my ego and just obeyed him. It was difficult then, but it made me realize that God wants us to learn how to obey, so that we remain humble.
The other part of obedience being a sacrifice is that sometimes, it costs us. Obedience can cost us relationships, or jobs, or social status, or money, or something else. In these cases, I think God is teaching us how to choose Him above everything else.
And what happens in cases where we are unable to give God our ‘yes’ when he asks us something? I used to be depressed for sometime, until once, when I went for confession, and the priest told me to just try again next time. So after repenting, and realizing that I really had to ask God for the grace to obey him, I had to be a joyful Christian once again, and trust that I can always ask God for the grace to obey him in the future. So, I think the third lesson about obedience is that when we fall, we are reminded of our need for God, and that God will be there for us again, as we try to obey him once more.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)
Prayer: Dearest Lord, I know I’m not an obedient child most of the time, so I ask for your patience as I learn to obey, ask for graces, and trust your love for me.
Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, for always finding ways to teach me how I can grow closer to you, including you asking me to be obedient.