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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Blind Faith, Obedience and Surrender - Lessons from Luke

Hello everyone!

Its been awhile and I meant to have this published last week when I wrote it. Life takes over...you know? I am yet to get back to some kind of order and my online time has been limited to my bible study. The Good Morning Girls have begun our study of the gospel of St Luke, with the theme of  "Living Like Jesus".

So, let me share what I've been learning. What stands out for me in this first chapter are the themes of blind faith, total obedience and surrender to God. This is something I need to keep on growing in...its not easy, is it? This surrendering to God and giving up control...this trusting in Him when life seems to press around you from all sides. Let's take a look at what the first chapter has revealed.

We see Luke, himself, choosing to believe what was handed down by the true eyewitnesses on events that occurred about 60 years before.  He sought after the truth so he could record the truth for others to believe. This, in itself, is a type of blind faith and brings to mind Jesus' words to Thomas in  John 20:29 "...blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe".

The most perfect example of this obedience, trust and faith, however, is Our Lady, Mary the mother of Jesus. A young girl who was too humble to believe she could be elevated in any way was addressed by an angel of God. She listened to Gabriel's message and she believed and immediately surrendered herself to God's will, wondering out loud how God would accomplish this in a virgin, but knowing in her heart that "nothing is impossible for God".
The Annunciation by Fra Filippo Lippi c. 1450
What a direct contrast to Zechariah, who was punished with muteness because he disbelieved the same Gabriel when he visited him to tell him that his wife would conceive in her old age. Zechariah not only disbelieved but he laughed! An angel of God appears to a 'priest' and he is incredulous! Poor Zechariah! He did not believe in the promises of God until they came to pass, but Mary did.
Zacharias and the Angel
Mary is the role model of every Catholic woman who holds her up as the perfect example of womanhood. She was the first Christian and set a very high bar for the rest of us. She was wholly obedient to God, loving Him, serving Him, laying her life down for Him. Whatever came into her life, she had no Plan B...Plan A was always "do whatever He tells you".  These may have been her words to the servants at the wedding in Cana (John 2:5), but they are also her words to us.

In my quest to emulate her in perfect obedience to the will of God, I will sometimes be called to my own following in the footsteps of Jesus. Mary suffered alongside her son for our redemption. What courage must any mother possess to see her son suffer brutality, humiliation and death and yet she remained at the foot of  His cross.  I too may have to suffer, be humiliated or have to put to death the things in my nature that keep me separated from Him and His will.

I pray to humble and gentle like Mary...my wayward tongue often gets the better of me.

I pray to be able to love the Lord with all my heart and to put Him first above all things...this age we live in has so many things to pull at us and take our focus from Him and I sometimes succumb to these temptations.

I pray for the grace to surrender completely  and to trust in Him...my desire to be in control often makes this difficult.

I pray that I will be able to accept whatever He has for me, even a Cross...at times I shy away from situations with a fear of the unknown and willfully cling to my own decisions.

This is why I wish to emulate Mary, this humble, gentle yet strong and courageous woman who pondered things in her heart and chose to trust and be obedient.  May we ponder things in our own hearts, being open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

What does God want of us? What does He want us to do? What does he want to heal in us? Where in our lives is He asking us to obey or trust in Him? Where is He calling us to have courage and step out in faith?
We can only know these things if we open our hearts in honest and deep communication with God.

He speaks...may our ears be attuned to the sound of His voice.

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