One spiritual writer speaks of a simple ritual that helps in his daily life. When he wakes up in the morning he immediately calls upon the Lord, thanking him for a new day and praying for guidance in all that will be part of his life on that day. In many ways it is a way of saying ‘yes’ to Christ. There is something intentional about it. He is making a free choice to have Christ as an important part of his life throughout the events of his day within family, work and community.
What the gospel also highlights is that our ‘yes’ is always an ongoing invitation that is being put before us. We see the religious leaders in Jesus time being challenged in their ‘yes’ to God. Just because they believe in the God of Israel, their response is legalistic and narrow. However, their ‘yes’ does not come from the heart. They show this in not responding to the call of John the Baptist to be converted anew in their lives and now not responding to the message of Jesus. In contrast to the response of the tax collectors and the prostitutes who initially said ‘no’ by their manner of living, they have now said ‘yes’ by their openness to Jesus and his life-giving message.
To be a disciple of Jesus is to allow our lives to gradually be shaped by the pattern of Jesus life and his life-giving message of the Kingdom. Our ‘yes’ is an ongoing ‘yes’ to the Lord. Our ‘yes’ is revealed in and through the small and the big choices and events of our lives. It is also to realise that our ‘yes’ to the Lord affects the life of our overall community. It also embraces that sense of responsibility given to us in creating a more humane, just and caring community. We are more conscious at this time of pandemic that we are not alone in the kinds of choices we are called to make. Saying ‘yes’ to keeping people safe, following the protocols, being caring of one another is all a ‘yes’ for the overall good of our community at this time. Beginning our day saying ‘yes’ to the Lord is all part of responding to this.
Fr Martin Ashe, Parish Priest