We cannot say ‘no’. Nor can we turn the other way and not respond, pretending we do not understand. The only reaction to God’s call must be a ‘yes’. Pope Francis underlined this in his homily at this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House, the first since the Easter celebrations.
Taking his cue from the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the Pope emphasised “Mary’s ‘yes’ which opens the door to Jesu’ ‘yes’.”
The Bishop of Rome based his homily on the “sequence of yeses” that begins with Abraham, recalling that “humanity of men and women” who despite being “elderly” as Abraham and Moses were, “said ‘yes’ to the Lord’s hope”; then there is Isaiah, who, “when the Lord asks him to go and speak to the people”, replies that he has “impure lips”; but God “purifies Isaiah’s lips and Isaiah says ‘yes’!” The same thing happens to Jeremiah who believes he doesn’t know how to speak but then says ‘yes’ to the Lord.
“And today, the Gospel tells us the end of this sequence of “yeses” butt he start of another ‘yes’, which begins to grow: Mary’s ‘yes’. This ‘yes’ not only makes God look at how humans are doing and walk with his people, it results in him becoming one of us, human, Mary’s ‘yes’ opens the door to Jesus’ ‘yes’: “I have come to do your will” – this ‘yes’ follows Jesus throughout his life, until the Cross.”
The Pope therefore concentrates on the ‘yes’ pronounced by Jesus who asks the Father to take awy the chalice, adding: “let your will be done”. In Christ is “God’s ‘yes’,” the Pope emphasised, “he is the ‘yes’.”
Francis saw this as “a great day to thank the Lord for teaching us the ‘yes’ way and also for thinking of our lives”.
Addressing a group of priests present, who were celebrating the 50th anniversary of their ordination, the Pope said: “All of us must say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on a daily basis and think about whether we always say ‘yes’ or whether we hide away, our head held low like Adam and Eve, so that we don’t say ‘no’ but pretend a bit like we do not understand…what God is asking of us. Today is the ‘yes’ feast. Mary’s ‘yes’ speaks for that of the entire History of Salvation and that is where man and God’s last ‘yes’ begins.”
That is where the Lord “recreates, as he did at the start, making the world and humanity, that wonderful Creation, with one ‘yes’”; now, with this ‘yes’ “he recreates the world even more splendidly, he recreates all of us,” Francis states. This ‘yes’ comes from God who sanctifies us, who makes us go forth in the person of Jesus Christ.”
Today is therefore a day in which we should “thank the Lord and ask ourselves: “Am I a man or woman who says ‘yes’ or am I a man or woman who says ‘no’, or who looks the other way in order to avoid responding?” Francis concluded by saying: “May the Lord grant us the grace to take this path, to be men and women who are able to say ‘yes’.”