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Something to think and pray about this week

FREEDOM TO SAY YES

Our lives are filled with people who say and who have said ‘yes’. They have said ‘yes’ to doing the right thing. They have said ‘yes’ to taking on a difficult, but worthy path. They have said ‘yes’ to love and self-sacrifice. They have said ‘yes’ to God.

Spend a few minutes now and call some of these people to your mind. It might be your parents or grandparents. It might be your husband or wife. It might be a friend or a teacher. It might be a famous person you know about.

Saying ‘yes’ is a vital part of our relationship with God. As is our freedom to say ‘no’ as well.  So many times in my life I look back on now and see clearly that I said ‘no’ (even if didn’t understand it as saying ‘no’ to God at the time). Thank God, I can recall sometimes saying ‘yes’ too. Saying ‘yes’ to God enables us to be a living presence of love, joy and mercy in this world. Our ‘yes’ always draws us to love and value ourselves, others and the world around us.

In Christian history and tradition, there are numerous people who said ‘yes’: Mary, Jeremiah, Moses and Peter, for example. Their yesses mattered. They may not have known exactly what they were saying ‘yes’ to and they certainly didn’t know where their yesses would take them (both the pain and the glory). But they had the wisdom to know that God was asking and that they should say ‘yes’.

If you’re faced with a difficult “yes” at the minute, remember you’re in good company with those above. Know this too: those who say ‘yes’ are gifted for that yes (so we see Peter, the uneducated fisherman, become a learned scholar and leader of a new movement – a saint). You too will be gifted for your ‘yes’.

Excerpted from Finding God in the Mess: Meditations for Mindful Living by Brendan McManus SJ and Jim Deeds
(pp: 22-23)