We are products of the Grace of Yes!
If our parents hadn't said 'Yes' to us, or at least if our mom hadn't said 'Yes' to us, we wouldn't be here.
Even if our home and family isn't picture perfect... Even if it is or was the exact opposite of perfect, still a 'Yes' was said for you -- for your life!
The Grace of Yes!
The Greatest 'Yes' that each of us are meant to know is the 'Yes' of God -- Who created us and formed us in our mothers' wombs for goodness, for glory, for LOVE, for life and to bear fruit!
We are products of this eternal Yes of God! If He hadn't said 'YES' to us, or if He ever ceased to say 'YES' to us, we wouldn't exist.
And one of the greatest gifts God has given us is our Free Will -- our ability to say 'Yes' or 'No'.
At our creation, we are created in the image and likeness of God, with our own ability to say 'Yes'
to say 'Yes' to God,
to say 'Yes' to our lives,
to our families,
to our work,
our daily duty,
to our eternities...
or we have the freedom to say 'No' to any or all of them.
Our modern culture is filled with tragic examples of people saying 'No' to some or all of these choices.
But do they know what they are saying 'Yes' or 'No' to?
Do we know what we are saying 'Yes' or 'No' to?
Do we recognize that what we choose to say 'Yes' or 'No' to will change the course of our lives?
Here is a story that a priest shared in his homily this past Sunday.
I had heard it before, but it never ceases to impact me:
Once there was a wealthy man who commissioned a magnificent home to be built from only the finest of materials. He told the builder, who happened to be a very poor man, to spare no expense at building the house. Then, he gave him unlimited resources for him to use.
Instead of using the best materials, the builder decided that he could make money by cutting corners. So, instead of using the finest materials, he used inferior ones.
He covered up gaps in his work and masked mistakes with paint.
When the house was finished, the builder handed the wealthy man the keys to the house. Underneath its beautiful appearance, its poor workmanship would soon reveal a leaky and drafty home that would be unable to keep out the heat, the cold or rain.
However, the wealthy man had never meant the home to be for himself.
Upon seeing the poor builder's need, he had commissioned the home to be for the builder himself. He had provided the most lavish of materials and resources to the builder, so he could build a beautiful and sturdy home, a dream home, that would shelter and protect him and his family for the rest of their lives.
So, instead of taking the keys for himself, the wealthy man handed the keys back to the builder, saying,
“Welcome home! I saw your need and wanted to provide you with a home that would protect you and that you could enjoy for the rest of your life. I wanted it to be a source of grace and blessing to you and your family in your need.”
How terribly the builder must have felt.
If he had only known the home was meant for him...
he wouldn’t have cut corners…
he wouldn’t have used the cheapest materials…
he would have done his best…
he would have listened to the rich man's instructions!
If only he had said 'Yes' to the rich man's goodness?
Each one of us can come away with deep, profound and varied implications of this story if we take the time to reflect on its meaning.
It impacts me because I know there are times that I fail to realize the greatness and the generosity of God... and because I recognize there have been and still are many times that I have exchanged His Loving plan for me -- His instructions -- for something less than...
How often I fail to realize that He has given EVERYTHING to me?!
My life, my breath, a heart that beats, a mind to reason and a spirit that longs for Him!
He gives me His daily grace to know and believe in Him if I seek Him in prayer, in His Word and in His Sacraments!
The riches of the Sacraments are truly limitless resources that I can tap into whenever I am in need, but they are also there to enjoy in times of plenty. For the Lord freely sets a table before us, containing the richest, most lavish feast of life and light, strength and nourishment that can be attained this side of eternity.
What do I do with these amazing riches?
Do I even recognize them?
Do I recognize that they are there for me to use?
Do I utilize them or do I cut corners and go for the cheap and easy things to fill my heart and my life?
Do I say 'Yes' or 'No' to building my life on these unlimited riches of grace that God provides for me?
Do I cooperate with God and say 'Yes' to Him?
Do I give of myself over to His plan to build something of beauty from the vast riches He has given to me?
Do I cooperate with His forgiveness, His providence, His care for me?
Do I accept His Body, His Word, His Church or do I reject it for other lesser things -- building a home on the shifting sand of modern day lies that promise happiness?
Do I carry my cross each day?
Do I perform my daily duty to the best of my ability, or with laziness and neglect – seeking to just get by and do the bare minimum?
Do I say 'Yes' or 'No' to the shoddiness of my selfishness, sin and dishonest gain?
Do I realize that LOVE is God, and that any love, any family, any friends, any people that are in my life are a grace beyond measure?
Do I recognize them as gifts?
Do I make time for them?
Do I love them selfishly or selflessly?
Do I die to myself, so that I can say 'Yes' to Love even when it hurts?
Or do I choose other lesser, inferior things such as comfort and ease, pleasure or pride on which to build my life?
Whether we realize it or not, our daily decisions build a home for us – both here on this earth, but also in eternity.
God gives us everything we need, but He asks us to cooperate with His Goodness and His Gifts through the grace of saying 'Yes' to Him and His plans for us!
The good news for us is that His Mercy is new everyday!
So, no matter where we are at this moment, we can begin again to say 'Yes' to His Grace.
Today we are celebrating those who say "Yes to God!"
It is being called the Grace of Yes Day! To find out more information about this day, or to find out about the beautiful book that Lisa Hendey wrote that inspired this day, please see:https://www.avemariapress.com/