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The Weight of a “Yes”

First Reading: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20

Shepherd your people with your staff,
the flock of your inheritance,
That dwells apart in a woodland,
in the midst of Carmel.
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,
as in the days of old;
As in the days when you came from the land of Egypt,
show us wonderful signs.

Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt
and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
Who does not persist in anger forever,
but delights rather in clemency,
And will again have compassion on us,
treading underfoot our guilt?
You will cast into the depths of the sea
all our sins;
You will show faithfulness to Jacob,
and grace to Abraham,
As you have sworn to our fathers
from days of old.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 85:2-4, 5-6, 7-8

R. (8a) Lord, show us your mercy and love.
You have favored, O LORD, your land;
you have brought back the captives of Jacob.
You have forgiven the guilt of your people;
you have covered all their sins.
You have withdrawn all your wrath;
you have revoked your burning anger.
R. Lord, show us your mercy and love.
Restore us, O God our savior,
and abandon your displeasure against us.
Will you be ever angry with us,
prolonging your anger to all generations?
R. Lord, show us your mercy and love.
Will you not instead give us life;
and shall not your people rejoice in you?
Show us, O LORD, your kindness,
and grant us your salvation.
R. Lord, show us your mercy and love.

Gospel: Matthew 12:46-50

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds,
his mother and his brothers appeared outside,
wishing to speak with him.
Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside,
asking to speak with you.”
But he said in reply to the one who told him,
“Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

NAB

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Today’s Gospel illustrates one of several instances in which Jesus appears to totally disrespect His mama.

“Who is my mother?,” “Woman, how does your concern affect me?” (see John 2:4), “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (see Luke 11:28.)

In instances like these, Jesus seems to disregard the mother who raised Him. But we know that can’t possibly be how the Savior treats Mary. So what’s going on here?

I think what Jesus loves most about His mom is her faith and her obedience. Instead of highlighting her achievement or accomplishment of carrying Him in her womb and raising Him, He takes special care to emphasize that Mary’s radical faith and unwavering obedience is what makes her so blessed. He doesn’t question her importance, obviously, but rather He fixes His affections on what it is about Mary that makes her fit to be the Mother of God: her totally surrender.

What does this mean for us? As Catholic women doing our best to imitate the life and virtues of Our Lady, I think Jesus is showing us where to concentrate our efforts. What makes Mary sweet, charitable, prayerful, pure, wise, patient, and humble is ultimately the depth of her faith in God and His Word.

How can we be more obedient today? We may not be greeted with a proposition as large as Mary was during the Annunciation, but after her initial “yes,” there were countless other, smaller “yeses” she whispered throughout her life. What’s the Holy Spirit asking of us today? How can we deepen our faith in Him? How can we, like Mary, live one long “yes” to the Lord?

Boldly ask the Holy Spirit what He desires of you and have the faith to live one continuous “yes.”

photo credit

Olivia Spears is a middle school religion teacher turned SAHM who is married to her high school best friend. You can find out more about her here.

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