Saying “Yes” when God calls

Courage. We are all too familiar with the telling of acts of heroism and courage performed by soldiers, first responders, teachers, and ordinary men and women. We generally look up to and revere those who have selflessly acted when many would not, often at the cost of their own lives. Of the nearly 3500 recipients of the Medal of Honor since 1861, fewer than 100 have been awarded to the living.

As we celebrate this Christmas season, rejoicing in the birth of our Lord and Savior, we should not forget the courage exemplified by Joseph and Mary in order for Jesus to come into this world. We are accustomed to thinking of Mary and Joseph as a poor, humble, and kind couple; yet we seldom consider how much courage was required of them.

Mary’s “Yes” to God’s call required a willingness to accept the very real possibility of death for herself and her unborn child; for the punishment for pregnancy outside of marriage was stoning. As a young woman, approximately 12-15 years of age, she was not allowed to appear alone in public.

Joseph’s “Yes” to God required him to accept Mary and the infant in her womb as his own. In a society where honor was important above all else, this required enormous courage on his part. To accept and raise someone else’s child would be difficult for most, even today. To believe that Mary’s child was truly conceived by the Holy Spirit would strain the credulity of most anyone. Yet Joseph said “Yes” to God and that took courage.

It took courage to flee to Egypt, taking little with them, to avoid the death that awaited their child. They fled to an unknown land, not knowing what might await them when they arrived or how they would survive once they got there.

Their courage should be an example to us all. It should remind us that saying “Yes” to God is never easy. It takes courage to accept His will. But the consequences for refusing to do God’s will are unimaginable. Where would we be today if either Mary or Joseph had simply said “No” to God?

During this Christmas season let us offer thanks to Joseph and Mary for their courage to say “Yes.”. Let us pray that we will find the courage to say “Yes” to God when He calls.

Deacon Chuck

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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