Your Yes Is Very Powerful

I visit a village called Santa Cecilia every Saturday for sharing the Word of God and being with the people and especially the children. So Saturday I was preparing some things before going there, and decided it was time to go and get some lunch. Outside my window there is an concrete park where a lot of people come, children play, vendors sell items. On the other side of the park, on one of the corners, is a restaurant I like to go and have lunch at. So I went out and began to make my way through the park to get to the corner and have lunch.

As I was walking, you can hear the kids playing, the smells of the vendors’ food cooking. I noticed about 4 drunk people sitting on a bench to my right. As I kept going, one of them, a woman, got up and began to approach me. Apparently, she had a lot of affection to share in her heart that day, and I was now the object of it all. I tried to keep walking, but she kept grabbing at me, insisting over my “no’s” that she loved me, and other things I couldn’t fortunately understand. As I tried to make it through the park, pushing back at her and getting her hands off of me, she’s following along all over me, and now everybody’s watching and laughing. And even though I’m laughing, I’m starting to think, how am I going to get rid of this woman? I was getting near the corner, and I’m thinking, if I go in there to eat, she’s just going to follow me in.

It was just then that I turned my head, and there parked at the corner was a small bus filled with the people from Santa Cecilia. Inside me, I thought, “I am SO glad to see you.” I said to them, “Do you know her?” Yes. I looked at them with beggar’s eyes, “Help me!” So they invited this woman to get on board to take her home. She was very happy to hear and of course, I was supposed to go too. So, I said, “Please, you first,” and as she was getting on and was distracted by the others, I felt this tapping on my shoulder. I turned around, and one of the women from the bus was looking intently at me, and said with all the firmness and urgency of an emergency, “RUN! QUICK, RUN!” So I made a beeline and took off around the corner, and I never looked back.

I was saved!

A few blocks later, I went into another restaurant, ate, and never saw her again.

Now, that makes for a good story for a few laughs, but what’s my point? It’s that the people of Santa Cecilia saved me, they shared in God’s work, and what did they do to do it? Did they give me money? Did they study religion and theology? Did they go and visit me in my home, or take me to the hospital, or go on a mission trip? No, they did none of that. They were just going about their business. Then what did they do?

In that special moment, in that most important moment for me, they said “Yes.”

When I was looking for help, they said “Yes.” That’s it.

John the Baptist is about 30 years old when he baptizes Jesus in the Jordan River. John the Baptist did not spend his 30 years getting a degree in theology, financing the poor and building things for people. He did not do outreach ministry. But when the time came, when God needed someone to identify His Son and prepare His way, to share in His work of salvation, when He came to him and said, “Help me,” John the Baptist said “Yes.” It was only a few months of activity, but that Yes opened the door for Jesus to begin His ministry that saved the world. John’s yes was very powerful.

When Jesus came by the disciples, they weren’t doing anything more than going about their ordinary business. Nothing else. He asked them to follow Him, and they gave Him just their “Yes.” Those “Yes’s” helped to save the world.

God doesn’t expect us to be doing extraordinary things with our life. The ordinary things are perfect with Him. But at some moment, a that special and most important moment, He will come to you looking for help. Tell Him “Yes.” Your Yes is very powerful.

You can help save the world.

The LORD said to me: You are my servant, Israel, through whom I show my glory. … I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth. (Is 49:3,6)


4 thoughts on “Your Yes Is Very Powerful

  1. Jerome, can I ask you your thoughts about something re John the Baptist that I’ve always wondered about. At Jesus’ baptism, John heard the Father say “This is my Son…”, and also in the gospel we know that he knew Jesus was the Savior because he said, “This is the Lamb of God…” So why do you think that later, John the Baptist sent others to ask Jesus if He really was the One they were waiting for? Do you think it was just momentary doubt, or is there another explanation?

  2. Good to hear from you Gabrielle! What a great question you have – and an opportunity to discover something important about your own journey I imagine. The Holy Spirit hasn’t given me all that clear light on this, but it’s a cool meditation for some time. I started to have some thoughts on it, but rather than share the fruits yet, I thought I’d share the approach I’ve taken. I first thought about the different Gospels and wondered why each one has this question from John or doesn’t have it – each Gospel author is presenting a message in his own way. A second thought is to look at the context that the authors in Matthew and Luke have put the event in. Another thing i thought of is the prophecies from Isaiah that are related – and quoted a lot in these Gospels – regarding John’s role and Jesus’. And another is the important role of witness and testimony of what has been seen.
    Well, that’s something to go on, enjoy the pondering, I might spend some more time myself, we’ll see. I will pray and ask for graces …

  3. Jerome, I’m glad you said that you weren’t going to share the fruits of your thoughts “yet”; gives me hope that you might later. I appreciate you sharing your approach for meditating on this question; I wouldn’t have come up with any of that myself.

  4. Hi Gabrielle – well I’ll share one thought for now, I haven’t had the time yet to put more thought into it. But I guess I’d say that whatever I present is my unfiltered approach to the mystery of that passage. It’s a sort of beginning point, not a final or definitive perspective.

    The points I brought up are important I think. The books of the bible are fully human as well as divine writings, so the authors write with human motives within communion with the one divine motive. And they are compiling accounts from human witnesses. So I like to draw the analogy of the mystery of Mt. Rushmore. People will have different ways of expressing their experience of Mt Rushmore, depending on a lot of factors. Who would they tell, why. Did they climb the mountain, or did they look at it from a distance. Which view did they get. or do they live on the mountain?! How long they spent there. Why did they have the experience? Are they doctors or engineers or housewives, etc. Or, maybe they actually live there and make a living off it. Soooo many experiences, so many reasons to relay that experience. Mt Rushmore is a mystery – like all of reality – and we approach mysteries from many different human directions and motives. And we have to really appreciate that before getting into biblical questions of interpretation. Each Gospel writer, and each of the accounts, come from this dynamic, within the divine inspiration. So, I say that because trying to unite all the data from the 4 Gospels together .. well, each Gospel’s integrity on its own has to be respected too, and we have to be aware of how we are bringing info from other Gospels into the one at hand…. This story is in two Gospels, and it is worthwhile to consider each separate story in its own context in its respective Gospel …. The accounts of John the Baptist are different in all 4 Gospels, and that same approach will bear real fruit in reconciling them. So I think this is really the key to answering your question, rather than what particular insight I might have right now to that question itself…. But I will share one insight I got because you – indirectly – asked. 🙂

    regarding the questioning by John’s disciples, what came to me, within those things I mentioned in the last post, was the prophecies of Isaiah. The Messianic mission is mentioned by Jesus in Luke’s version (Ch 4), quoting from Isaiah. If you notice, the first line of the prophecy is “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me…”. Then comes the long list of what the Spirit has anointed him to do. Well, earlier at Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit descended on Him (Lk 3:22). John the Baptist witnessed this. But he hadn’t witnessed the rest of the fulfillment. His disciples do get to witness this (Jesus’ works to show the disciples match that of the Isaiah prophecy of the Messiah) by John sending them.

    We don’t know what type of stories John has been hearing. It’s said his disciples heard of the stories. But maybe there were many other varieties and voices saying a whole bunch of different things about what Jesus was doing, true and false and mixtures. Maybe John sent his disciples to get a *reliable testimony* of what Jesus was doing, and make his own disciples reliable witnesses. (This could be for a lot of reasons – maybe there was a current in the early churches about the reliability of early disciples of John the Baptist?? Things like that have to be considered – again, have to look at what are the circumstances that the author is writing under.) So, anyway, John will get to hear that first-hand testimony of these works. “Blessed are those who believe and who have not seen.” The authors include this – i think – to link Jesus’ baptism – witnessed by John – to his mission, thus fulfilling the prophecy. (That isn’t to say the stories are made up, but rather they are chosen from so many testimonies and stories with some variations, and arranged in a particular way [now sorting all that out and choosing what to include and in what way and so forth, now that’s where the divine inspiration really comes in!])

    Well, those are some beginning insights into it from my perspective. What is yours?

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