| Models | Your Will Be Done | Freedom | The Fruit of Obedience


ABRAHAM (I). "Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves." So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran." (Gen 12:1-4)

ABRAHAM (II). "After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; and he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him." (Gen 22:1-3)

JOSEPH (I). "Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus." (Matt 1:18-25)

JOSEPH (II). "Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt have I called my son."" (Matt 2:13-15)

JOSEPH (III). "But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead." And he rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, "He shall be called a Nazarene."" (Matt 2:19-23)

"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." (Lk 1:38)

   "Sia lodato Gesų Cristo.
   "Carissimi fratelli e sorelle,
   "siamo ancora tutti addolorati dopo la morte del nostro amatissimo Papa Giovanni Paolo I. Ed ecco che gli Eminentissimi Cardinali hanno chiamato un nuovo vescovo di Roma. Lo hanno chiamato da un paese lontano... lontano, ma sempre cosė vicino per la comunione nella fede e nella tradizione cristiana. Ho avuto paura nel ricevere questa nomina, ma l'ho fatto nello spirito dell'ubbidienza verso Nostro Signore Gesų Cristo e nella fiducia totale verso la sua Madre, la Madonna Santissima.
   "Non so se posso bene spiegarmi nella vostra... nostra lingua italiana. Se mi sbaglio mi
corriggerete [sic--the mistake seems to be intentional: "correggerete" is the correct form]. E cosė mi presento a voi tutti, per confessare la nostra fede comune, la nostra speranza, la nostra fiducia nella Madre di Cristo e della Chiesa, e anche per incominciare di nuovo su questa strada della storia e della Chiesa, con l'aiuto di Dio e con l'aiuto degli uomini."
   (John Paul II, 16 October 1978)

   "Have this mind among yourselves,
which is yours in Christ Jesus,
   who, though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
   but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.
   And being found in human form
he humbled himself
and became obedient unto death,
even death on a cross.
   Therefore God has highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name which is above every name,
   that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
   and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
   Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed,
so now, not only as in my presence
but much more in my absence,
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
   for God is at work in you,
both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
   Do all things without grumbling or questioning,
   that you may be blameless and innocent,
children of God without blemish
in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation,
among whom you shine as lights in the world,
   holding fast the word of life,
so that in the day of Christ I may be proud
that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. " (Phil 2:5-16)

Your Will Be Done

   "O come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
   For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
O that today you would hearken to his voice!
   Harden not your hearts,
as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
   when your fathers tested me,
and put me to the proof,
though they had seen my work.
   For forty years I loathed that generation and said,
"They are a people who err in heart,
and they do not regard my ways."
   Therefore I swore in my anger
that they should not enter my rest."
(Ps 95:6-11)

The longest Psalm is Psalm 119 (118 in the Vulgate). It's all about obedience.


   "The Biblical readings of the Mass this Sunday invite us to meditate on a fascinating theme that can summed up thus: freedom and the following of Christ. The evangelist Luke recounts that Jesus, "as the days in which he would be taken from the world were approaching, resolutely turned toward Jerusalem" (Luke 9:51).
   "With the expression "resolutely" we can glimpse something of the freedom of Christ. He knows in fact that death on the cross is waiting for him in Jerusalem but in obedience to the will of the Father he offers himself up for love. It is in his obedience to the Father that Jesus realizes his freedom as a conscious choice motivated by love. Who is freer than he, who is omnipotent?
   "He did not live his freedom, however, as license or dominion. He lived it as service. In this way he "filled" with content a freedom that would have otherwise remained an "empty" possibility to do or not do something. As the life itself of man, freedom takes its meaning from love. Who is more free? The one who holds onto all possibilities for fear of losing them, or the one who "resolutely" gives himself in service and thus finds himself full of life because of the love that he has given and received?
   "The apostle Paul, writing to the Christians in Galatia, in present day Turkey, says: "You were called for freedom, brothers and sisters. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love" (Galatians 5:13).
   "Living according to the flesh means to follow the egoistic tendencies of human nature. Living according to the Spirit, however, means letting oneself be guided in intentions and deeds by the love of God that Christ has given to us. Christian freedom, therefore, is completely different from arbitrariness; it is following Christ in the gift of self, right up to the sacrifice on the cross.
   "It might seem paradoxical, but the Lord lived the culmination of his freedom on the cross, as the pinnacle of love. When on Calvary they shouted: "If you are the Son of God, come down from that cross!" He showed his freedom as Son precisely by remaining on the gibbet to fully accomplish the merciful will of the Father. Many other witnesses to truth have shared this experience: men and woman who remained free even in a prison cell and under the threat of torture. "The truth will set you free." Those who belong to the truth will never be the slave of any power, but will always know how to freely be the servant of their brothers.
   "Let us look to Mary Most Holy. Humble handmaiden of the Lord, the Virgin is the model of the spiritual person, totally free because she is immaculate, immune to sin, and completely holy, dedicated to the service of God and neighbor. With her maternal care may she help us to follow Jesus, to know the truth, and to live in the freedom of love."
   (Benedict XVI, Angelus, 1 July 2007)

The Fruit of Obedience

   "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
full of grace and truth;
we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father....
   And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace."
(Jn 1:14,16)

"For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous." (Rom 5:19)

   "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want;
   he makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters;
   he restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
   Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil; for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
   Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows.
   Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."
(Ps 23:1-6)