I’m stealing from Fr. Walter again, but only because his homily this morning was fantastic. He drew a parallel between today’s first reading from Acts (Philip with the Ethiopian eunuch) and the story of Emmaus. Those who preach the Word come, interpret Scripture, interpret lives, celebrate Sacraments, and then leave. Because today is a remembrance of Our Lady’s patronage over the Order of Preachers, he talked about how all branches of the Dominican family must be both “available and free”–available to those around them, but detached, ready to go wherever the Spirit takes them.
After being a New Yorker for nearly 8 years, I’ve gotten pretty used to the transient life. It’s May, which means people find out about next steps, and at least 5 friends will be leaving town before summer’s over. I like to think I’m good at letting go. But several happenings this week–a friend starting a relationship, a gossipy squabble–made me realize how possessive I am as my life as it is, of my friends, of relationships that may or may not match in reality what they stand for in my head.
One of the biggest struggles I face is–what does detachment look like for a layperson? How radically can I live the Gospel without going on the road and becoming an itinerant preacher? When am I practicing detachment, and when am I just scared to put down roots in a situation, a place, a person?
I’m having difficulty coming up with the answers just now. Faith is a journey toward a greater alignment of one’s life with one’s beliefs, and this process can feel incredibly slow. We need to keep in mind that we’re not the ones who effect the change. I desperately want to move, like Philip, where the Spirit wills me, and so I must ready myself in small things, in the day-to-day, in the present.