Holy Land Pilgrimage

Saying “Yes” to God

November 26, 2021

We’ve been visiting many different sites commemorating events from the Bible, both ordinary and extraordinary.

We visited Tel Dan, an archeological site where the ancient main gate of the city of Laish was uncovered.  This is the first place that Abraham visited following God’s command to enter what we now call the Holy Land.  3800 years later, we still know the spot where a single man said “yes” to God and went to a new land.

We visited Capernaum, where Jesus called His first disciples.  Peter, Andrew, James, and John left everything to follow Jesus, not knowing the great plans He had in store for them.  And we’re still able to walk where they walked and sail on the same sea where they made their living as fishermen.

We visited Nazareth, where a young woman named Mary lived.  The angel Gabriel appeared to her and told her that she would conceive in her womb and bear a son and name him Jesus.  Not understanding how all these things would take place, Mary still said “yes.”  And 2000 years later, we are able to have Mass mere feet from the very room where this took place.  Jesus comes down among us in the Eucharist today because Mary said “yes” and Jesus took on flesh at that particular moment in history, in the little village of Nazareth.

All this happened because individuals said “yes” to God.  In certain moments in history, God chose to intervene in these people’s lives and use them as instruments to make His will known in the world, to have them play some particular role in salvation history.

Are we ready to do the same?  Are we willing to say “yes” to God when He calls us?  We won’t be able to say, “maybe next week.”  We won’t be able to say, “this isn’t really the right time in my life for this change.”  Whenever God is calling, we must be ready to answer.  We can trust that He will not call us to do something we are unable to do.  If He is calling us to it, He is also giving us everything we need to fulfill His will.  He called Abraham and gave him the strength to enter a new land.  He called the disciples and gave them the strength to spread the Gospel.  He called Mary and gave her the grace she needed to follow His will perfectly.  So, what’s holding us back?  Are we read to trust in Him?  Are we listening for His voice?  Are we ready to say “yes”?

Deacon Joseph Brom, SJC
Archdiocese of Chicago, Illinois

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