BEING YES – On Feast of the Annunciation
The Feast of the Annunciation is a reminder that we are called to “Say Yes” and to “Be Yes”!
Being Yes is the transparency to discern:
To listen to and discern the words of the Angel Gabriel, the signs of the times and the will of God. It is not easy to do so. One needs to be quiet and attuned. There is the cloud of unknowing; there is the genuine doubt of one’s own capacities and abilities, there is the “Why me?” “What about Joseph? “What will people say? “It is certainly difficult to ‘let go’ of one’s well set plans
Being yes is the availability to serve unconditionally
One needs to leave everything and to go in haste, to travel through the wilderness and hill country. Tagore reminds us “to walk alone”; to take a risk to go where the need is greatest; to be available; to be of service to others even if she is a distant kinswoman. Genuine, whole-hearted service always encompasses a deep joy, a total willingness and unconditionally.
Being Yes is the courage to live the Magnificat
To sing the Magnificat beautifully is one thing but to live its core spirituality is something else. It means being visible and vocal. It means taking sides, just as God does with the anawim: the poor and the lowly. It means standing up to powerful and the proud; not fearing or succumbing to them. It means being merciful and humble. It means living the praises of God always.
Being Yes is the sensitivity to the cries of the people
It is not easy to listen to the cries of the poor, the excluded and those who have nowhere to go; even at a feast when everything goes dry and the people start complaining and grumbling, you could become an unlikely target! When all seems lost the only voice perhaps which the poor have, is yours. That matters! Miracles then take place! Sensitivity ensures a transformation!
Being Yes is the ability to accompany
Just being there. To walk with the excluded, the refugees, the oppressed, the lonely. To journey with them and all who need our presence. We often walk and talk, but lose sight of our focus. Jesus is lost in the mad din! Accompaniment is that painful realization that the child is lost, to go in search of him. Walking the whole distance – till the very end and ultimately finding him.
Being Yes is the strength to accept suffering
A sword shall pierce your heart. The pain and suffering which one has to go through when one says “yes”. It is painful to be the subject of misunderstanding, of small talk, of pettiness and gossip. It is not easy to accept an assignment which is not one’s cup of tea .But then who said it was easy to hold the lifeless body of your son in your arms? The Pieta which is an all-time icon!
Being Yes is the charism to be prophetic
To be there encouraging and motivating a bunch of spineless men who are so frightened about the consequences. They are more concerned about themselves rather than the power of the Resurrection. They feel that all is lost! Only when challenged do they allow the power of the Spirit to overwhelm them. They go out to be prophetic: to live Pentecost meaningfully!
Mary joyfully and willingly says “yes” – because she knows that is the will of God! More than that, her whole life becomes a “yes”; she is “yes”! We are called to do likewise!
(The above is a reflection on the Feast of the Annunciation)
Note: The author, Fr Cedric Prakash SJ is a human rights activist & writer