Sometimes, I have a difficult time gleaning personal lessons from Scripture. Sometimes the readings at Mass seem so far out of reach, unlearnable by my narrow-minded brain. But today wasn't one of those days.
"Allison, would you read at Mass today? We don't have anyone else."
It's one of my favorite questions. I've been reading at Mass since I was 7, and I love it. But usually at school, I don't have the opportunity. So today, I jumped on it.
"Ha," God must have thought. "I'll get her one way or another."
And He did.
Of course it's from John. Of course its the "God is Love" passage. Of course the Gospel is the Walking on the Water.
I get it, God. I'm supposed to listen.
But Lord, I have so much fear. Fear of the unknown, of being wrong, of authenticity, of eternity, of love. You know, oh Lord.
...but perfect love drives out fear...
The catch-22 of being afraid of love is that only love itself removes the fear. It takes a risk, like calling out to a ghost on the water. It takes a step of courage, a leap of faith. Faith in the unknown, trusting that something or someone will be there.
...and so the one who fears is not yet perfect in love.
You of all people, Lord, know that my love isn't perfect. I fall so short in so many areas. Because loving is difficult. Loving others, loving God, loving myself, loving my work: it's all a struggle at times. Which makes the act of reaching out to my Savior all the more important.
He saw that they were tossed about ... they had all seen him and were terrified.
Because who wouldn't be afraid of Love Himself approaching? Those who know not the Lover fear the love He gives. So why would they invite Him into their craft?
Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!
And He reached out His hand, and as they accepted Him into their small, rocking boat, He drew them to Himself. It's a giving-and-receiving, this Love.
They had not understood ... their hearts were hardened.
And He replied, Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid.