The Meaning of “Yes”
“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
The words of Jesus in the Gospel of John 15:13
When we attend Mass, Christ lays down his life for us by way of the holy Eucharist. Christ mystically renews his death and sheds his Blood for the sake of our healing and the healing of the world.
How does this healing occur? Accepting our Lord’s Body, Blood, soul, and divinity into our being strengthens our union with Christ, separates us from sin, and commits us to the poor. United with Christ, healing is at work as we become more Christlike in our daily lives and learn to see Christ in others we encounter.
Together we partake in our Lord’s work of loving mercy. Jesus said: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me” (Matthew 25:35–36). Therefore, the more open we are to the holy Eucharist and the love our Lord has to give, the greater the healing grace we possess to live as God wants us to live.
Are we reluctant to take on this responsibility, which is associated with love? We have plenty of our own challenges. Perhaps we feel as if we don’t have the time or energy to deal with other people’s problems. However, imagine if Mary, the Blessed Virgin, felt and responded that way at the annunciation.
Instead of reluctance, our Blessed Mother’s unselfish acknowledgment helps us to see what it means to say yes to God’s will. Experiencing the greatness of his love, Mary’s heart sang for all generations to hear! With that love, Mary is the “Church’s model of faith and charity” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 967). Even as our Lady witnessed her Son’s sacrifice, Mary’s heart remained open wide to become Mother to us all. For Mary—and us—action is key.
We accept our Blessed Mother’s call to have faith—to trust and obey her Son—when we accept his Body, Blood, soul, and divinity in reception of the Eucharist. Through Jesus comes unity with God the Father. Christ is in the Father and the Father is in him doing his works. In this work, the loving gift of the Holy Spirit, increased by the loving gift of the holy Eucharist, is within us always. We have the strength from heaven to participate in our Lord’s healing mission for ourselves and our world. Amen.