God Still Said Yes

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time | July 5, 2020

See today’s readings here. Video recordings of the Sunday evening Mass, where Fr. Brian regularly preaches, are available on Facebook at Delaware Koinonia. The archive of all of Fr. Brian’s homilies can be found hereSalesian Sermons


So I realize that I am not usually the one who is on top of pop culture, frequently watching movies years after they have been released.

But Friday night was an exception.

Because when Hamilton gets streamed to your living room, you rearrange your schedule to make that happen.

And trust me, I was not disappointed.

For no matter how many times I watch a show or listen to a soundtrack, there is always something different that catches my attention each time.

And Friday night, I found myself stuck on a simple phrase:  I’m erasing myself from the narrative.

I don’t know why this line grabbed my attention.  But I kept thinking about it.

And I realized that a part of me wishes that this line was possible.  

Because wouldn’t life be easier?

If we could simply scan back through our narrative and simply delete all references to those people who made our stories difficult or painful.

The classmate who relentlessly taunted us in high school.  Delete.

The boss who passed us over for the promotion.  Delete.

The In-law who was always so critical.  Delete.

Or even better, if we could simply remove ourselves from other peoples’ narratives when they become too much work.  Or too complicated.  Or too messy.

Our neighbor who has been widowed for years and his grief hangs over the house.

Or the friend who battles depression and drains us, phone call after phone call.

Or the family members who seems to thrive on drama, creating it and gossiping about it

If only we could simply erase what connects us, what binds us together when the load seems too heavy to bear.

But then I read the Gospel for this weekend.  And instantly, I honed in on that one line.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.

And suddenly I realized that this weekend I am being presented with a choice, the same choice that is offered to each of us who claims the title of Christian.

Which is whether or not I want to accept the yoke that is offered to me.

For once I say yes, once I place that yoke over my shoulders, I am now yoked to Christ.  I am yoked to his body and every single person who comprises it.

Their narratives become my narratives

Their hopes become my hopes.

Their pain becomes my pain.

And in turn, my baggage, my success, my failure.  It all becomes theirs.  

And I will never get to walk away.  I will never get to erase the other who is now yoked beside me.

No matter how deeply they’ve wounded me or offended me, disappointed me or exhausted me, frustrated me or perplexed me.

For I am theirs and they are mine.

I am yours and you are mine.

And though this invitation may seem impossible some days.  Even if the lyrics of Hamilton still hold such an allure in times when the yoke seems unbearable.

I trust in the promise of the one who chose first to be yoked to each of us.

Knowing exactly who we were and what we were capable of.  He still said yes.

He said yes to our brilliance and our ignorance.

Our pettiness and our generosity.

Our achievements and our scandals.

Our hopes and dreams, our prejudices and our fears.

Our scars and wounds, our triumphs and our trophies.

Our hates and our loves.

He said yes to us.  Each of us.

And so I say my Amen.  To the Body of Christ.  To the yoke we bear.  To the God whose own we are.

May God be Praised.

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