(I know, I know, but I had to...)
My daughter and I enjoy a guilty pleasure in the form of TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress" where women from all walks of life the world over come to shop for wedding dresses at Kleinfeld's in New York City. Each episode follows the shopping journey of 3-4 women....the highs and the lows...the angst and the joy...the drama and the tears...the supportive families and the scary ones. (We love the scary ones the most, of course, because they are totally horrifying...probably makes us feel loads better about our relationships with each other!) At the close of every sale, the consultant says to the bride-to-be, "So, are you saying 'yes to the dress'?" and we all wait with bated breath for the joyfully tearful "yes!" or the disappointingly dreary "I don't know...I think I should keep looking." Either way, we are waiting for their commitment.
In today's homily, Father Jim was talking about the "yes" that both Mary and Joseph had to give God in order for Jesus' life to be accepted and cultivated in our world. And what a "yes" it was!! What a commitment born of faith. As Father said, Mary could have just remarked to her angel, "Um, unmarried and pregnant and punishable by death isn't sounding so good right now. Thanks, but no thanks." And Joseph could have easily commented to Mary, "Uh, sure you were overcome by the Holy Spirit and that's how you got pregnant. That's totally believable, Mares." It is not at all farfetched to think that that could have happened and understandably at that. How accepting would we have been of this heavenly news flash? But no, rather than doubt and self-preservation, they each listened to and honored the gifts bestowed on them through their dream angels and said "yes" to the bless! Thank God for each of them and for their selfless commitment on behalf of our world.
So as we continue to await the arrival of Jesus in this last week of Advent, my hope is that I will listen to and honor all of the dreams that God has planned - for me to touch others, to be selfless, to live as a model of Him who made me. In doing so, I will enjoy miracles both for myself and those around me and, rather than responding with a disappointingly dreary "I'm not sure if I can help with that, God...I better keep looking for other fulfillments," I will be making a joyfully tearful commitment to saying "yes" to the blessings He has in store for me.