It’s not hard for me to imagine the scene when the Gospel on the Feast of the Annunciation is read on March 25th. Out of the several exchanges the young Mary has with the visiting angel Gabriel, it ends with Mary saying, “Yes, I see it all now: I'm ... ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say.” Or today we might translate it, “Yes, ok. I’ll do it.”
And with her “yes” Mary of Nazareth’s life was forever changed. From that time forward she dependably repeated her “yes” to other more ordinary events happened in her life.
In each of our lives, we are only asked for the next “yes.” To a variety of experiences and opportunities in our lives we agree to enter into them – or not. The choice is ours.
In discerning God’s call for our lives, as with Mary’s invitation to be the mother of Jesus, we only need to attend to our response for the “yes” in the moment. All the future “yes-es” we’ll be asked to give will come one at a time. Each time we may be asked to give a little more and stretch a little farther in our life journey. But also when we are asked anew, we have more information about our choices, more insight and, hopefully, more willingness to say ”Yes.”
Stay calm. Stay centered. As Jesus recommends, “remain” in his love. When asked, there’s no need to jump too far into the future and fuel our anxiety. Focus on the choice before you. Will you say “yes” this time?
May our God of abundance be with you,
Ella dijo, “Sí"
No me es dificil imaginar la escena cuando se lea el Evangelio en el dia de la Fiesta de la Anunciación el 25 de Marzo. Despues de los varios intercambios que la joven María tiene con el ángel visitante Gabriel, termina con María diciendo: "Sí, ahora lo veo todo: yo estoy ... lista para servir. Deja que esté conmigo como dices.” U hoy podemos traducirlo, “Sí, está bien. Lo hare."
Y con su "sí", la vida de María de Nazaret cambió para siempre. Desde ese momento en adelante, ella repitió de manera confiable su "sí" a otros eventos más comunes que sucedieron en su vida.
En cada una de nuestras vidas, solo se nos pide el siguiente "sí." A una variedad de experiencias y oportunidades en nuestras vidas, accedemos a participar en ellas - o no. La decisión es nuestra.
Al discernir el llamado de Dios para nuestras vidas, como con la invitación de María a ser la madre de Jesús, solo tenemos que atender a nuestra respuesta para el "sí" en el momento. Todos los futuros "sí-s" que se nos pedirá daremos uno por uno. Cada vez se nos puede pedir que demos un poco más y que nos estiremos un poco más en la jornada de nuestra vida. Pero también cuando se nos pregunta de nuevo, tenemos más información sobre nuestras decisiones, más información y, más visión y, con suerte, más disposición para decir "Sí."
Mantén la calma. Mantente centrada. Como Jesús recomienda, “permanece” en su amor. Cuando se le pregunte, no es necesario saltar demasiado hacia el futuro y alimentar nuestra ansiedad. Concéntrate en la decisión que tienes ante ti. ¿Dirás “sí” esta vez?
Que nuestro Dios de abundancia esté contigo.
Waiting is so hard. We want to get things done, to check them off our list, to be sure about the next step. There is a quote I like, “Do you have the patience to wait until the mud settles, until the right answer arises by itself.” We do all our pondering and thinking, discussing and pro and con lists – and that is all good and necessary. But at some point discernment also involves waiting. We take a step and we wait as we live into a new reality.
Think of Mary. She took a huge step in saying, “May it be done to me according to your word.” And then she waited. Like any mother, she had to wait nine months to see her newborn, to learn how to be a mother, to learn how to love her particular child, and, finally, to let go as that child followed his mission in the world.
We say a ‘yes,’ big or little, and then we go forward step by step, learning what that yes really means as we go. What yes have you said to God that is still being formed in you?
I said “yes” – Dije “si” – that is what Sister Xiomara put on her Facebook post after her final profession, and say “yes” she did! She was filled with joy and reverence and grace as she gave her whole life to God through the Adrian Dominican Congregation.
We live in a culture that discourages long commitments. We get the message that commitments take away our freedom, but the opposite is really true. In fully committing to something we are able to give our whole selves and be who God calls us to be.
“I want to keep all my options open,” some say. But for how long? While it’s true that we do not want to rush into poor decisions and make drastic life choices at a young age, we can sometimes wait so long that we lose the chance to do that which would give us life. For someone called to marriage, it would be a shame to turn eighty and still be waiting for someone better to come along!
At this time of year, we celebrate Mary’s “yes” that brought forth Jesus – God among us. Imagine if Mary had said to Gabriel, “Well, I don’t know. This isn’t the best time and I’d like some alone time with Joseph before we start on a family. Can you come back in a few years?”
Sometimes we take that leap and say “yes” even when everything is not sure – because it never is. We cannot know the future, but we can be sure that Emmanuel – God with us – is always there on this journey of life.
Christmas blessings to all!
By Sister Judith Benkert, OP
Last week I was listening to an interview of one of our Sisters. Sister Ann has given 60 years of ministry in a variety of settings. When asked what three words she would like on her tombstone, Sister Ann paused a moment and said, “I always said yes.” If you have a chance click here to view the entire interview on YouTube—it’s amazing!
It’s true that, when the Congregation asks a Sister to consider a ministry, we take it very seriously because we believe God works through the Congregation in calling us to serve the people of God. Over the past forty years, the ministry of Sisters has changed. We slowly turned schools and other institutions over to very capable educators and administrators who carry the mission and ministry forward. We strive to “Preach with Our Lives” in a variety of ministries. New members will find a place in ministry in areas of social justice, law, ecology, health care, education, parish ministry, campus ministry, and more. The future belongs to new members who stand on the shoulders of Sisters who walked before them and said “yes” to God.
Will you come follow these Sisters and say yes?
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Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP
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Adrian Dominican Sisters
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Get out your bell-bottoms and platform shoes, because DISCO is here!
Okay, so it's a little less dancing, a little more talking... Sisters Lorraine Réaume, OP, and Sara Fairbanks, OP, have a video series called DISCO (Discernment Conversations): Dancing with the questions of life!