Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time


by Lucinda M. Vardey

What is Jesus saying in the last lines of today’s Gospel when he commanded our responses to be “Yes” or “No.”?  And what is he inferring by any other response  as coming “from the evil one”?

Jesus always invites us to be clear about the truth embedded in the will of God.   How we discern that truth requires us to listen, with an open, loving heart, in the quiet and solitude of prayer.  From there we are guided by the Spirit and wisdom of God to know how to confidently respond in any situation.

There must have been occasions when we have reacted too quickly, made decisions without turning to prayer.  How many times have we regretted saying “Yes” when we desired to say “No.”?  Were decisions affected by feelings of “should” or guilt, or fear that we’d upset other’s expectations?  And when did we fall into interminable indecision, permitting a “maybe,” or succumbing to the silence of no response?

Jesus could well be emphasizing that no response, no action, no decision, is never neutral.   Everything has a cost.  Being nebulous has hurtful consequences.

In her encounter with the angel Gabriel, Mary asked a question, received an answer and responded, like the Apostles, with her affirmation.  Our readiness to trust God’s guidance, and our willingness to clearly respond,  increases not only our faith but God’s work in and through our lives.