By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
Obedience to authority is not a virtue that is valued in our society today. From the clueless dads in TV sitcoms to the scandalous behavior of some people in roles of authority, we are constantly bombarded with the message that there is no one we can trust, therefore no one we should obey. Have you ever taken a burden that was not yours because you didn’t trust the person or institution in charge? What was the result? Was it joy and peace, or tiredness and resentment? “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Mt 11:29-30)
How can we take this easier yoke that Jesus is offering us? “Learn from Me”, He says. Jesus’ life was all about doing His Father’s Will. It is through the virtue of obedience that He shows us His meekness and humbleness. “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” (Heb 5:8-9) His obedience was and is the proof of His love. Even today in the Blessed Sacrament He remains obedient. St. Peter Julian Eymard tells us that “He obeys not only at Mass when the priest pronounces the words of the consecration, but at every moment of the day and night, whenever the faithful need Him." If Jesus, who is God, can humble Himself and obey man, why is it so difficult for us to do the same? I think it is a matter of trust.
I was looking at the Divine Mercy image in my room and at the words, “Jesus I Trust in You”. I wondered why Jesus chose those words. What does mercy have to do with trust? It has everything to do with it. It takes trust to surrender. It takes trust to let go and let God. And it takes trust to be obedient to the authority figures in our lives. This trust is not in the flawed human beings or institutions, but in God, because “there is no authority except from God.” (Rom 13:1) When we lose trust in the authority of a person or institution, we are left without a compass. We take on a burden that was not meant for us, and we end up exhausted. We use our energy in these endeavors and then have none left for the things we are truly responsible for. When we lay down those burdens we picked up on our own, those we picked up because we think we know better, or because we feel we can’t trust the people in charge, what we find is freedom instead. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11:28)
 Eymard, St Peter Julian. The Real Presence (p. 69). Veritatis Splendor Publications. Kindle Edition.