Obedience or Self-will? We have the freewill to choose … Wednesday, March 6

The Exhortation to the Apostles

The Exhortation to the Apostles. Jesus gives direction. He has the authority to do this. Who did He pass this authority on to before He ascended? Was it passed on? Are we obligated to be obedient to this authority? What are the consequences of being disobedient?  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Rosary Meditation … The Second Glorious Mystery, the Ascension. “Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:20. Here we read some of the last words of Jesus, instructions to His Apostles, the men He had chosen to be the earthly leaders of His Church. “Teaching them.” “Them” being everybody else, the world at large, until He returned. “Them” is as much you and me as it is anybody else. Sometimes what isn’t said is just as important as what is. Notice that He said “teach”. How do you teach anyone anything? By word and by example. By the way, those two need to match up. You’ll  notice that He didn’t say “record all that I’ve commanded you”. The Apostles were given the authority to teach making them the teaching authority. That’s not all that hard to understand, even tho some people seem to have great difficulty with the concept. Which is a matter of self-will, pure and simple. With recording it all in mind you might like to stop now and read John 21:25. It goes like this: “But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.” So why waste time trying? Just go about the business of teaching, let other people write the books as needed. Note that the early Church didn’t do what they read in the Bible because the Bible as we have it didn’t exist. It took quite some time for the New Testament to be written, and longer for the various manuscripts to be collected and put together. Decisions had to be made as to which were inspired and which ones weren’t because a lot of people had written down a lot, some good, some bad, some inspired. And who was the judged of what was true and right? The Church as guided by God’s Spirit. So what did believers do without the Book? The did what they were told, not what they read. That’s because there was nothing to read. And those men commissioned to teach? Two things. Number one, not everyone was given the task of teaching. Number two, the men that were given the responsibility to teach passed on that responsibility to others. Many times in the New Testament we read about the original men in authority laying hands on others, ordaining them, and so passing the torch of authority on. And that’s been taking place, all in an unbroken line, for 2,000 years. Want to see a descendant of the Apostles? Go look at a bishop.  There was no question, then, as to who had authority and who it was that was subject to the authority. All of this was set in motion, put in place, by Jesus before He left. There were no loopholes. It’s never been about private interpretation of scripture. “Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation.” 2 Peter 1:20. So why do people do it, why make their own ideas dogma and claim its of God, that God “spoke” to them in their heart? “The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable, who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9. Why make their own selves the authority as to God’s will, God’s plan? Easy. Pride, self-will. And the answer to this problem is as simple as the problem itself. “Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God.” Romans 13:1. If this is true in the worldly realm how much more in the spiritual? Jesus gave us directions before He left. What we do with them proves to Him our sincerity in following Him. “And why call you me, Lord, Lord; and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46. What we do with His last-minute instructions just before His ascension is up to us. He gave us free will. But what He does about our response when He returns is another matter. “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works.” Matthew 16:27.

Today … St. Colette. Colette was the daughter of a carpenter named DeBoilet at Corby Abbey in Picardy, France. She was born on January 13, christened Nicolette, and called Colette. Orphaned at seventeen, she distributed her inheritance to the poor. She became a Franciscan tertiary, and lived at Corby as a solitary. She soon became well-known for her holiness and spiritual wisdom, but left her cell in 1406 in response to a dream directing her to reform the Poor Clares. She received the Poor Clares habit from Peter de Luna, whom the French recognized as Pope under the name of Benedict XIII, with orders to reform the Order and appointing her Superior of all convents she reformed. Despite great opposition, she persisted in her efforts. She founded seventeen convents with the reformed rule and reformed several older convents. She was renowned for her sanctity, ecstasies, and visions of the Passion, and prophesied her own death in her convent at Ghent, Belgium. A branch of the Poor Clares is still known as the Collettines. She was canonized in 1807. Here is a grand example of someone who followed directions in the right way rather than her way and helped others do the same.

Proverbs 29:2 … “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

Published in: on March 6, 2013 at 6:11 am  Comments Off on Obedience or Self-will? We have the freewill to choose … Wednesday, March 6  
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