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September 18, 2013     


The Power of 'Yes'

by Friar Jim Van Vurst, O.F.M.

Most people remember this famous tongue twister from Mary Poppins: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. It has no meaning beyond being a ridiculously long word. A big word doesn’t mean it is important or significant. But take the simple word yes. If you think about it, this little word has affected the lives of billions. For example, a young couple stands before their priest, and by saying yes, their lives are changed, both legally and in the eyes of God.

While they remain individuals with their own unique personalities, they are no longer single, as we call it. They are husband and wife—a couple bound together in a powerful way. Each will have a most significant effect on the other in ways they cannot fully understand at that moment they say, yes.

A Single Word

Of course, the most significant yes took place when Mary was asked by the angel Gabriel to bear the Son of God. In that single word, the physical world, with all its sinfulness and struggles, welcomed God in the flesh: Jesus of Nazareth. Mary had no idea of the implications, but her “yes” was said in total faith. God took it from there.

How many times did Jesus say yes” to the Father as he preached, taught, and healed? And when he was rejected and threatened with death, again there was Jesus’ yes in the garden. Mark tells us in the Gospel that Jesus “sweated blood.” It was not easy for Jesus by any means.

Love, Actually

Finally, on the cross, when it appeared that Jesus’ whole ministry was a failure and all he heard was yelling and laughing by those who could not understand him, once again he said yes to the Father by crying out, “Into your hands I commend my spirit.”

As believers in Jesus, there are many times when we are called to say yes to the Lord. When we face a crisis, a temptation, or a fear, it is essential we understand that none of these struggles are signs of something bad or evil within us. Quite the contrary: these struggles come only because we seek to do what is good and to live by a value system based on Jesus’ own command, which is to love God and love one another.

The most descriptive word for God is love. And one of the most loving things we can ever say in the midst of a difficult struggle is “Yes, Lord.”

Friar Jack's Inbox

Readers respond to Friar Jack Wintz's September E-spiration, Musing: St. Louis, King of France

Dear Friar Jack: Thank you for the your recent E-spiration on St. Louis. What a model of love and compassion for the less fortunate! Carla

Dear Friar Jack: I’ve always admired St. Louis, King of France, for his willingness to use his wealth and power for the greater good. Thanks for shedding light on this remarkable saint! Bob

Dear Friar Jack: Thank you for this reflection! If only leaders of today could take a page from St. Louis’ book! Linda

Dear Carla, Bob, and Linda: Your words brought a smile to my face. God bless you and all the readers of Friar Jack’s E-spiratons around the world! Friar Jack

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