Lance LeClere ’02

As we move to the middle of February, and the follow through on those New Year’s resolutions starts to fade, the last paragraph of today’s gospel grabbed my attention. Whether it’s working out more, or promising not to let my prayer life wane, sometimes my “yes” isn’t always a lasting “yes” and my “no” isn’t always a lasting “no”.

But how comforting it is to know that although our own “yeses” and “nos” might be fleeting, conditional, or inconsistent, the love, forgiveness, and strength we receive from God is not. God’s ‘yes’ is always ‘YES!’

Yesterday was my son’s 6th birthday. When he was born prematurely and battled through significant issues in the neonatal ICU, God answered my prayers, despite my inconsistent “Yeses.” My wife and I could feel the comfort of the “YES!” he blessed us with as we placed a “Fighting Irish” sticker on his incubator and asked God to instill a fighting spirit into this tiny little child of ours.

I also think about the young men and women that answer the call to serve and defend our nation with a resounding and unwavering “YES!”. Last year, my wife and I were privileged to accompany a group of wounded, ill, and injured service members on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, known as Warriors to Lourdes. Many of these service members are hurting physically, emotionally, or spiritually. How beautiful it was to touch the stones of the Grotto that inspired Notre Dame’s own special and hallowed place of prayer. Alongside these Warriors, we witnessed Our Lady fill their hearts as she responded to them with a “YES—I feel your pain. YES—I love you. YES—I will protect you.”

May we all open hearts to this wonderful, everlasting, and unconditional “YES!”, and may we seek to do the same for others.