He changed his mind and went. (Matthew 21:29)
The heroes of the faith make quite a lineup! Moses the murderer, David the adulterer, and Jeremiah the complainer are only the start. There’s also Francis the libertine, Ignatius of Loyola the vain soldier of fortune, and Augustine the womanizer. But despite their broad array of vices, all these saints had one thing in common. Like the first son in this parable, they had a change of heart that radically altered their lives. Because their no became a yes, they have left us a legacy of holiness that we can all relate to.
It may be tempting to think that all of the saints knew what would happen when they said yes to God’s call, but that’s probably not what happened. It’s more likely that they experienced a gradual softening of their hearts, and with each softening, the yes became more confident and more apparent, leading to dramatic conversions and history-changing events.
Every day—many times during the day, in fact—we face the choice of responding to God with a no or a yes. Sometimes, it is a distinct change. Other times, it’s more subtle. For example, when we say yes to prayer, to Mass, or to kindness and patience, we are saying yes to the One who has called us. Do we always know the outcome of our response? No. Do we always do it perfectly? No, but the Father isn’t looking for perfection. He’s looking for soft hearts.
One of the best ways to ensure a soft heart is by going to Confession. There is a grace in this beautiful sacrament of mercy that cuts through our excuses and our objections. Through Confession, we find the grace to say yes to the Lord more and more often, simply because we are tasting his love, and that love is changing us.
Today, spend a few minutes making a list of the key times when you have said no. Then take that list with you to Confession. Let your Father forgive you. Let him fill you with the grace to make a fresh start. You can become a hero of the faith just like Moses, Augustine, and so many others!
“Father, give me a soft heart so that I can hear and answer your call.”
Word Among Us Daily Meditation