Jesus, the 'Yes' of God
Deacon Keith Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC
“Brothers and sisters: As God is faithful, our word to you is not “yes” and “no.” For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed to you by us, Silvanus and Timothy and me, was not “yes” and “no, ” but “yes” has been in him. For however many are the promises of God, their Yes is in him; therefore, the Amen from us also goes through him to God for glory. But the one who gives us security with you in Christ and who anointed us is God; he has also put his seal upon us and given the Spirit in our hearts as a first installment”
2 Corinthians 1:18-22
“If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but (also) everyone for those of others. Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name 7 that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, 8 of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible. And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.”
The Gospel of Luke 2:34-38
As a Deacon of the Catholic Church, I am a minister of the Gospel. In this call to ordered service I am invited, by the Lord and on behalf of His Church, to go from the altar and the ambo into the streets - into a world filled with disappointment and pain. Let’s be honest. That is so often the lived experience of so many people. This world is filled with wounded and needy people. I am one. In these streets - and in this world - I have the privilege of giving to others what has been freely given to me, the great gift of God, His “Yes”, Jesus Christ. He is the One in whom all the promises of God find their response; the One who is the answer to every human question, the fulfillment of every authentic human need, the balm of healing for every human wound, the satisfaction of every authentic human desire, and the Way to authentic human freedom and flourishing.
One of the obstacles that I find in giving Him to others is a wall that is often built around human hearts and minds. There are so many misconceptions about religious faith. So often in ministry, one finds oneself not being asked to actually respond to someone’s heartfelt hunger for God, but rather, being subjected to automatic replay messages from the past, laden with misconceptions concerning who - or even if - God truly is. That is why I shared these three key biblical passages at the beginning of this reflection. They reveal the very heart of a God who is very much alive. He is the answer to every human question. He alone is able to quench the desperate thirst that still drives men and women into the desert.
The word “Gospel” literally means “Good News”. There is Good News! God has revealed Himself to us. He is not hidden. The word “revelation” literally means to “unveil”, to make known. This is what occurred, is occurring, and will occur in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Self-Revelation of God. This God who fashioned the Universe is not simply a principle to be reflected upon, leading us to a set of propositions. He has been manifest, unveiled to us in His Son, Jesus Christ. It is in receiving this Divine Self-manifestation, hearing this “Yes” and believing, that we find the very meaning of our own lives as we enter into the life of faith.
As a young man, I began the practice of law, a profession that provided a backdrop for decades of my life. I was an assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Steubenville Ohio. The Chief prosecutor, my “boss” was a truly good man, in search of life’s deeper meaning. He was also a non-practicing Jew who had lost touch with the great faith of ...
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