Providence on the path of obedience
God’s Providence rules everything, it “is concrete and right, takes care of everything, from the smallest things to the great events of the world and of history” (Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 303).
Photo: CN Archive
In the book of Tobias, we see the importance of a son’s obedience in relation to a father’s advice, since the son’s response to the father contributes to the realization of God’s designs and Providence, as seen in Tobias’ life.
Obedience is not opposed to freedom, on the contrary, “God not only gives his creatures the existence, but also the dignity to act themselves, to be causes and principles of each other and to cooperate in the fulfillment of his purpose” ( CIC 306), that is, we are free and not puppets in the hands of God, and because we bring in us divine filiation, it is through love that we walk in Love.
“Parents must regard their children as children of God and respect them as human persons. Educate children in the fulfillment of the Law of God, showing themselves to be obedient to the will of the Father in Heaven ”(CIC 2222). This is the mission of the father and mother, to educate their children in God and to witness with their lives what they educate.
The father’s love and presence are indispensable factors for the son, and the son’s response to the father’s love is a source of blessings, as was the case with Tobit and Tobias.
Faced with the specific illness that Tobit was going through, and realizing that it was his last days of life, he called his son Tobias and asked him a favor; then guides you through various advice. Directs your child at important points in the life of anyone who wants to do God’s will, especially within their family.
Tobit, being ill, asks his son to bury him with dignity when he dies; then she says to him: “ There is your mother. Do not abandon her every day of your life and do what you like. Do not sadden your spirit at all ”(Tb 4,3). What an example of a father is Tobit, who worries about turning his wife over to Tobias’ care, saying to him: “ remember her, son, who was in great danger because of you when you were in his bosom ” (Tb 4,4) . Nowadays, it is necessary for children to honor their parents, to manifest, through concrete gestures of love and gratitude, what they are: children.
Soon after, Tobit directs Tobias to fidelity to God. “ In all your days, son, have the Lord in your mind, and do not consent to sin or to transgress his commandments. Practice justice every day of your life and do not follow the ways of iniquity ”(Tb 4,5).
“ Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord ” (Col 3,20).
After the father made several requests and advice to his son, the Scriptures narrate that “then Tobias answered his father, Tobit: I will do everything that you have commanded me, my father” (Tb 5,1). How uplifting are the children who seek to live according to the principle, in which “filial respect is revealed by docility and true obedience!” (CIC 2216). For obedience to parents is not outdated or outdated, but it is current and sanctifying, and it helps children to not abandon their parents, but to love them, primarily, in the most difficult moments of life.
“The duty of obedience requires everyone to give authority the honors due to it and to surround with respect and, according to its merit, gratitude and benevolence, people invested with authority” (CIC 1900).
In the path taken by Tobias to his wedding, the importance of obedience to his father is perceived, since the Providence of God was governing each step until the beautiful meeting of Tobias with Sara. In our lives it is no different, what we need to do is not to hinder what God wants to accomplish with our impatience, pride and vanity, but to be obedient to Him and to our parents, as indicated in the book of Proverbs: “ My son, keep your your father’s precepts and do not reject your mother’s instruction. Always carry them tied to your heart, and hanging around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will keep you and, when you wake up, they will talk to you ”(Pr 6,20-22).
As it was in the life of Tobias, who obeyed his father, let us try to live obedience in the face of different circumstances in everyday life, and also in interpersonal relationships. Because it is understood that, in obedience to God, “divine Providence also acts through the action of creatures. To human beings, God grants to cooperate freely for their purposes ”(CIC 323), that is, God is with us all the time and his loving action also happens through people, when necessary.