Reading 1: Gn. 3:9-15
Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
Reading 2: 2 Cor. 4:13—5:1
Alleluia: Jn. 12:31B-32
Gospel: Mk. 3:20-35
There is a popular saying, “The one who obeys something good does not make a mistake.” We find many verses in the Scripture that tell us about the importance of obedience. For example in the Gospel of John, Jesus said, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.” (Jn. 14:23) What about from the Old Testament from the prophet Samuel, “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Sam. 15:22) Adam and Eve had everything they wished for, but it seems that nothing can makes us fully happy. We tend to disobey commands from: parents, teachers, religious superiors, and above all God, “You have eaten, then, from the tree of which I had forbidden you.” In other words, why did you disobey my commands, my rules? They are for your own good, don’t you see! Now I have to fix what you willingly broke with your disobedience.
The lack of obedience from our first fathers led them away from freedom, peace, and love, unity of mind, body, and soul. They found themselves terrified and they had to hide. Disobedience to the LOVE and LAW of God brings chaos in to the human person, into the world. Moreover, rebellion is an act of the devil and those who love his law, the law of hate,
law of death, law of sin, the law of this is my body, my life and I go with it wherever I please.
But, God is love, an omnipotent love that we cannot comprehend. He comes down from heaven to restore what was lost, starting with Adam and Eve. We often think that Jesus was the first person of the Trinity to come into the world but He was not. It was the Father himself as we just heard in the first reading, “I heard you in the garden” (Gn. 3:10).
What was lost by disobedience, Jesus won it back by obedience even to the point of death, and death in a Cross, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but to do the will of Him who sent Me.” (Jn. 6:38; Philippians 2:8)
But what is the meaning of obedience? In the Old Testament obedience comes from “Shama” and it means to hear, to listen to the voice of God, The voice of God that we all have inscribed in our conscience. There, in our conscience, is where we meet with God and no one else. We are naked just like Adam and Eve, we cannot hide.
There is another beautiful explanation in the book of Deuteronomy about obedience:
“ If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him,
his father and mother shall take hold of him
and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town.” (Dt. 21: 18-19)
When I was a child, my parents used various ways of discipline that in today’s time are forbidden. Think about your own life, what did your parents use to make their voice heard? Well, God used his voice with a strong sentence, because you have disobeyed me, these are the consequences… What are those consequences? Firstly, sin in its different kinds that Saint
Paul in the letter to the Galatians mentions, “Fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like” (Gal. 5:19- 21).
In order for God to restore the consequences of disobedience he needs our reaction to those issues with a sincere conversion of heart. The work of God through grace is to uncover sin and the effects of sin in a person. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines sin as, “love of oneself even to contempt of God. In this proud self- exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.” (CCC. #1850)
Therefore brothers and sisters, there are two masters that we must obey, God or evil. With our actions we chose if we are truly free in the love of God or if we are truly enslaved by the law of disobedience and sin. Obedience is the supreme test of faith in God and reverence for Him.