One of the first words a child learns to say is, “NO!” with, “why” quickly following! None of us if we are honest likes to be told what to do and even if we accept instructions it is not often without wanting to know the reasons behind them. These days we are brought up to question and not to accept things blindly. We are encouraged to think for ourselves and to make our own decisions. We no longer follow blindly rules and regulations that have been acceptable for past generations.
Is this a good thing? I am sure that we can all think of some reasons for and some against. But how does this affect us as far as our faith is concerned?
We have to be very careful here because we may be in danger of ‘reinventing God.’ A friend if mine only the other day made a comment about not agreeing with a Christian teaching. I responded by saying that it was taught by Jesus himself and then asked her, “Are you saying Jesus was wrong?” Her reply was, “I suppose I am?”
We want to stamp our feet like children and say “No!” today about some teachings because we think they are out dated and don’t fit in with modern day attitudes and lifestyles. We don’t want to stand out in the crowd. We want to be popular and make ourselves, and the faith, acceptable to those around us even if it means compromise.
Once we start out on this road we are walking away from God not towards Him. But, this is not a new situation today. The church has always had to cope with standing firm and obeying Christ’s teachings and it has proved a very costly sacrifice for some. Is it worth it?
Let’s think about how Mary dealt with obeying the will of God and the effect upon her. She received a call from God. He had chosen her to play a very special role. She didn’t have to agree to it but she seemingly accepted it. But even she first questioned it-----“What me? How can this be? Etc.”. She received an answer of sorts but still she was asked to trust God. Her reaction was not to worry and get herself in knots but to ‘praise’ God in the words familiar to us as ‘The Magnificat’ which was probably based on her knowledge of the Song of Hannah in the Old Testament when she was told she would have a son.
Sometimes the calling to live the Religious life doesn’t make sense to the world around us or to us who live it! However, like Mary part of our vocation is to trust God in humble obedience to His will. We must rest in His love for us knowing that only He can see the whole picture and rejoice that He has chosen us for Himself. Amen.