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First Friday Reflection for December 2016

Madonna and Child Sculpture by Pietro Canonica

An Invitation to Say Yes

As we move into Advent, I gaze upon the image of Mary, the Madonna, lovingly holding the Christ Child in her arms. I reflect on perhaps one of her greatest gifts to me, her invitation to be willing to say yes to God.  

Mary said yes at such a tender age. She said yes to having God’s son, not knowing and yet knowing the heartache that could occur. She said yes, trusting in the Lord’s love and yet having no idea what that could look like. How could she know that saying yes to God included a pierced heart and unspeakable sorrow, and that saying yes meant such tender love for a child so dear? Mary willingly said yes to the birth of our Savior, Christ the Lord, who fills our hearts with enormous joy.

Entering into Advent, we enter into a time of preparation, of saying yes. We enter into a time of listening with childlike abandon to the whispers of God. We prepare our hearts for the birth of our Lord, God’s greatest gift to us.

When I sit quietly in the Chapel, Mary’s willingness to say yes to God stirs in me. I reflect on when I have said yes and when I have been too afraid. I ponder, what am I being asked to say yes to now, this Advent season? And, I pray that I have the strength, the willingness, the courage to say yes, as Mary did, to reveal the love of Christ to our broken world.


Reflection by Donna Heckler, Director of Communications for the Society of the Sacred Heart

Sculpture in marble of the Madonna and child by Pietro Canonica