I went to Mass on Saturday at the Carmel Monastery on the hill. Since it was the feast day of St. Teresa of Avila, Fr. Nathan celebrated that liturgy in lieu of the traditional Ordinary Time Sunday. (Yay for the liturgy police taking the day off!) St. Teresa is one of my heroes. (Google her… she is quite the impressive 16th century woman. We could all learn a lot from her.)
One Gutsy Woman
What a treat! The Gospel was from John (4:1 and onward)… the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. I love that one… another of my favorites. The reading for the day was just the top half of the story but I know the rest of it so my thoughts drifted down toward the unspoken end where she says to whoever will listen: Come see a man who told me everything I did.
What an act of faith to stay long enough talking to a stranger and allow yourself to be so open and vulnerable. Then Fr. Nathan began his homily.
“Imagine the risk that this Samaritan woman took. To be out in the middle of the day… sans-Burka… engaging in conversation with a man… a Jewish man at that! This was one gutsy woman!”
Hear it for the first time
You know how, even though you’ve heard something over and over, there can come a moment when it feels like God breaks through your resistance and it’s like you see it for the first time? That’s what happened to me.
I know the story of the woman at the well backwards and forward… I can play “Name-that-Gospel” in less than 5 words. And still, it was brand new for me that day. “Imagine the risk… this was one gutsy woman.”
I can relate. I am in the throes of risk right now.
Following God requires risk
But we are a cautious bunch… and so we calculate our risks. Based on data / life experience / gut instinct / what other people do / perhaps what others advise.
We take a calculated risk every time we close our eyes and sleep… trusting that we will awake and have another chance to live and love in a new day.
But what if we could set our caution aside and live with more faith… wild abandon as it were… not in the huge things that compromise our safety or health… but in all the other ways that could give us more life… more of God’s life.
So today will you?
- Say what you need to say… gently but firmly.
- Do what you need to do… with GUSTO! but without harm.
- Be who you are called to be… with compassion but without compromise.
- Live deeply and wildly… RISK! and set aside the “calculations” that will decide whether you will succeed or fail.
Life lived in a spirit of true faith never knows what the final outcome will be… it is the risk of letting go. We can only follow the Call.
Today… risk falling into the hands of God.