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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Being Obedient Soldiers - 2 (Holy Warriors Part 60)

Today’s readings:

1 Samuel 15:16-23

Psalm 50:8-23

Mark 2:18-22

Soldiers are expected to fully obey the commands of their superiors, which they do not question. That is one key to being a cohesive and disciplined army that can win victories. When the superior tells a soldier to jump, he does not ask “Why?” but should just ask “How high?” Some would see this as blind obedience, which in the secular world is not necessarily good. But for us as holy warriors, it is total obedience based on our full trust in a God who is perfect and only wants what is good for us.

God’s ways are not our ways. But that does not give us license to question God. If we are servants and instruments, then we let God do with us as He wills. Otherwise we can end up standing in the way of His will. And once you question one matter, you will end up questioning many others.

And so it was with the Israelites led by King Saul. In the battle with Amalek, Saul was instructed to put everything under the ban. He did not. The Israelites destroyed all except the best sheep and oxen, purportedly to be sacrificed to the Lord (1 Sm 15:15). Saul had a good intention, but ended up being condemned for his disobedience. “Why then have you disobeyed the Lord? You have pounced on the spoil, thus doing what was evil in the Lord’s sight.” (1 Sm 15:19). Saul insisted otherwise, that he fulfilled his mission and just wanted to sacrifice to the Lord the best of what had been banned (1 Sm 15:20-21). Good intentions, bad judgment. Doing what seemed to be good to man, ending up doing evil in God’s sight. The consequence was severe. “Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord in turn has rejected you as king.” (1 Sm 15:23b).

How many times have we or the Church become disobedient even as we did what we thought best for the mission?

* Sinners are to be told of their sin so they can be brought to repentance, but there are those who decide to be politically correct and just accept and embrace them without talking of their sin.

* Active homosexuality is a grave sin to be condemned but there are those who condone it, with clerics blessing gay unions, Masses celebrated with the LGBT community, pastors refusing to judge it as wrong.

* God’s way of life for His people is about sexual morality and the culture of life, but social justice issues are prioritized at the expense of these essential matters.

* We are sent to evangelize but those who do so are condemned as proselytizers, and are not encouraged to make converts because all religions are claimed to lead to God.

* We are sent on mission but focus rather on maintenance.

As Saul was judged to have done evil, so too are those who do such things. And again, we are not just looking at the obvious sinners or disobedient people, but more specifically to those who profess to do good and obey God. “But to the wicked God says: ‘Why do you recite my commandments and profess my covenant with your mouth? You hate discipline; you cast my words behind you!’” (Ps 50:16-17).

So it is a matter of discipline. That is what is needed in an army. It is being fully and totally obedient to God. It is not selective. It is not knowing and speaking about God’s ways but acting in ways contrary to it. How might we display such lack of discipline?

* It is being part of the army of God but failing to grow in holiness. “If you see a thief, you run with him; with adulterers you throw in your lot.” (Ps 50:18). We are called to be holy. We are to be set apart. We of course are still in the world but are not to be of the world.

* It is when we use our speech both to praise God but also to speak evil. “You give your mouth free rein for evil; you yoke your tongue to deceit.” (Ps 50:19). There are those who lie or speak half-truths and those who gossip.

* It is when we profess love for brethren but also speak against them. “You sit and speak against your brother, slandering your mother’s son.” (Ps 50:20). There are those who malign others, who cause intrigues against others, who stir up resentment against leaders, who foment dissension and cause the formation of factions.

So we are called to be holy warriors, to be totally obedient to God and committed to our mission. This is especially crucial during these dark times in the life of the world and even within our Church. The call to be holy warriors is a call of the New Evangelization. The Holy Spirit makes this call, and the Holy Spirit empowers those who are called.

But those who are called must take on a new mind and a new heart, discarding the present ways, even with some well-meaning intentions, that have in fact contributed to the rot. The new wine of the ever-creative Spirit is to be put into new wineskins (Mk 2:22). What constitutes such a new wineskin today?

* It is embrace of the Live Christ Share Christ (LCSC) mission.

* It is responding to the call to be holy warriors in the army of Mary.

Modernism has crept into the Church. More and more the focus is on man rather than God. More and more the wisdom of God is being replaced by the wisdom of mere men. Many think they are being obedient to God and are serving Him, but in reality have become disobedient to God’s commands. “Now understand this, you who forget God, lest I start ripping apart and there be no rescuer.” (Ps 50:22).

Actually the ripping apart has started. We are late in the day. There is great urgency in turning fully back to God and His ways. And as God’s holy warriors, we go forth steadfastly in the power of the Spirit to bring God’s salvation to the whole world. “I will let him whose way is steadfast look upon the salvation of God.” (Ps 50:23b).

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