Paul’s meditation on Jesus can be a powerful support to our own act of faith. So long as we look at ourselves, at our own weaknesses, at how small we are and how afraid we are of difficult things, we are tempted to discouragement. We know Jesus is looking at us, saying, “Come, follow me.” And we want to, but we know our own track record: part of me wants to follow you Lord, and another part of me is afraid I’ll have to leave behind things or people I love but are too worldly. Another part of me is tired and wants to take a nap or waste time on trivial pursuits. Another part of me feels guilty for sins that I’ve committed and I’m not sure I won’t commit again. Another part of me isn’t sure I can trust you completely. In short, I say yes to you Lord, but I also say no. On good days, my yes is stronger – on bad days my no is stronger.
Jesus is not sometimes “yes,” sometimes “no.” He is an all-powerful, invincible “Yes” to the Father. So if we say our “yes” to the Father through Jesus, with Jesus, and in Jesus – If we allow Jesus Himself to say Yes to our Father with us from our heart, He will gradually liberate us from the “nos” that make prisoners. If you think about it, that’s exactly what the Blessed Virgin Mary did when the Angel Gabriel visited her in Nazareth. She didn’t understand how the wonderful things God had planned were going to happen – they seemed too great for her: how could a little girl, a little creature that nobody paid much attention to become the Mother of the Savior, the mother of God? But the Blessed Virgin Mary is totally free, she isn’t a prisoner to the world at all. What did Mary say to Gabriel? She said “Yes, let it happen to me just as you have said.” Immediately when Mary says, “yes,” Jesus begins to live in her womb – the Word becomes flesh.” Mary’s “yes” is all-powerful because Jesus is already saying that yes with her and in her.
We may not be able to say, “Yes,” to God the same way Jesus does, but we can say “yes” to God the way Mary does. Jesus knows exactly what He is saying “yes” to when he takes up His cross to suffer and die on it. He knows that by doing so He saves us from eternal death and hell. Mary didn’t know everything that would happen to her and to her Son Jesus when she said yes. She said yes in faith and in hope. Jesus doesn’t have faith or need faith because He sees and knows all things – nothing is hidden to Him. Let us learn how to say “yes” to God from the Blessed Virgin Mary: she will teach us how that “yes” is actually Jesus Himself. Our “yes” to God in speech and in action is what gives life flavor and brings light to the world.