By Joyce Pelletier
Hebrews 5:7-9 ‘During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered and once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.’
Wait a minute now! Did you ever stop to think that Jesus “had” to learn obedience. Well, what am I saying? In this reading, it says “Son, though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered.”
This reading really helped me to see that…
He is without sin, He is perfect, and He created all things.
Let’s look at the definition of the word - Obedience – compliance with an order, request or law of submission to another’s authority.
In this time of 2023 – does this word exist anymore? We live in a time of do your own thing, do what is good for you, to thine own self be true, and so on. It is difficult to wrap yourself around this nine-letter word. Obedience seems like we are slaves, yet being obedient to where God calls us to be, is one of the most important responses we can make to God.
When I think of this concept, I know beyond anything, that I’m the one needing to learn obedience, not Jesus. I pondered what it really means. I am far from perfection, thus a better candidate to learn about Obedient Submission.
He was born of a virgin. Fathered by God himself. If you consider, ‘He was made perfect.’ You just wonder why did He have to learn obedience?
I’m thinking that He did this to be like us in all ways so that He could relate to His creation. When He was twelve, He went to be with the elders, the leaders of the church in His Father’s House. He longed to hear for himself what they believed. His parents, headed for home. Along the way they realized Jesus wasn’t with them on the return trip home. They went back to find them. His mother said to him in Luke 2:47-50 “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your Father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” He asked. “Didn‘t you know I had to be in my Father’s house? But they did not understand what He was saying to them.
When our son was about 6 or 7 years old, we had friends visiting us for supper one night. Joe left the table, got on his rickety bike and took off. He had a pillowcase in his hand. His intent was to run away. I saw him leave and thought he’d be back in 15 minutes. A while later a neighbor found him several miles from home and picked him up and brought him home. She called to see if we knew where he was. You see, we were preparing to talk with a priest in our parish about putting on a Marriage Encounter. We thought he went back home after we left. Maurice went to get him at our neighbor’s and brought him home to where the sitter was, then came to get me.
It was a frightening time. We had just started with a new relationship with Jesus and we got so involved with way too many things. Our experience with accepting Jesus as Lord of our lives, caught on a ship of a new exciting live and we lost focus on being with our kids.
We were so fortunate that our story didn’t turn out in a horrible manner. God knew we were trying to serve Him, but He also knew we weren’t prepared for the overinvolvement parents can do and how it effects our kids. It was a new chance to refocus.
Obedience to God is the most important thing. Asking Him what He desires is far more vital than just doing whatever anyone asks of us. It’s really ok to say no sometimes. Learning how to weigh the effects of so many activities is a means of discipline that is the most crucial.
The over activity could have turned out pretty ugly, but God is merciful. I saw him leave, but didn’t think he’d go far. This gave us a chance to regroup and grow from these challenges of over involvement.
I’m not promoting no involvement, just asking that you take the time to see what is better for your family situation. If it’s too much, don’t be afraid to admit it. We have our children under our wings such a short time, then they grow up and we become empty-nesters and that’s the time to get involved. This discipline was a major lesson for us. We learned to not be afraid to take time to evaluate what God wanted from us. We learned how to be a family again. We also learned how to say “no” in some cases.
Think – are there things in your life that put so much demand on you that you are more stressed than you should be? How is it bouncing off our kids? Is there something God might want our attention regarding our activities? We were very fortunate in our situation, and God’s mercy spared us deep heartache, had it turned out differently.