By Sarah Streitwieser
Obedience is another virtue that seems to be no longer in vogue among secular social ideals. For most, the thought of obeying to an outside authority – whether that be God or another person – would be an affront to one’s personhood. We live in an era where personal truth and expression trumps all else. We aspire to be self-directed, independent, and in control. Where then is there room for obedience in the modern vernacular?
The sort of obedience that we see displayed by Mary and Joseph (and later Jesus), is not an acquiescence from their own wills. Their obedience is not self-deprecating; it is self-giving. Mary does not lose herself (or her Son); she offers herself and dies to herself. In some sense one must first possess their own life in order to actively lay it down. Perhaps by this, true obedience is not an act of weakness, but an act of strength, yielded or given.
In the mystery of the presentation we encounter Mary and Joseph as they offer their Son to the Lord. As Hannah before them, they present Jesus to His Father – not in idol ceremony, but as total gift. In obedience they follow every prescription of the Law. In love they make total gift of self and Son.
In order to consider the true weight of Mary’s obedience, I find that I must first consider the person of Hannah. For more on Hannah and the price of obedience, click the link below. Share your insights with your family, and come back next week for something new!