“What paralyses life is lack of faith and lack of audacity” (Teilhard de Chardin). Audacity: a great thing to have in yourself, but others probably won’t like it. The world’s most influential people were audacious: Mahatma Gandhi, Clara Barton, the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Paul Revere, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr.—and the list goes on.
With Lent half over the day’s readings from the lectionary show Jesus more and more audacious. In John 7 we hear Jesus teaching in the temple area: “I was sent by One who has the right to send, and him you do not know. I know him because it is from him I come: he sent me.” We can imagine the hearers thinking, “How audacious! Even blasphemous! Get him out of this sacred space!” Yet Jesus persists in his claims to be what he is. We know the result: crucifixion.
Are we known for our audacity for good, for truth, for justice? Do we feel somewhat paralyzed in the face of evil?
Lord Jesus, Audacious One, give us your courage to enlarge our souls and grow into the audacity needed to proclaim your Kingdom.