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New lands - Newsletter of the Australian Marist Community


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27/05/2014: Australia


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Greetings to all of you in this season of Easter!

How would you rate your appetite for risk? It’s a silly question in one way because I am sure you are immediately thinking that it depends on situation or circumstance. In another way, it is valid in as much as it evokes a broad indication of your attitude to risk at this point in your life. The topic was raised in an article I read recently about a guy who is into coffee and cafés. He runs several cafés. In the piece, he suggests that his appetite for risk has plummeted significantly as he has aged. He muses as to whether it is because he has more to lose, or if it is related to getting weary and worn down by business ventures, or perhaps it has declined as the ‘bucket list’ has been tamed. Whatever the reason, he has noticed that he has not got the same appetite for risk today compared to when he first risked everything to start his first café.

It got me thinking. There is a direct parallel to our faith, and how it plays out in our lives. God’s spirit often dares us – not recklessly, but in a way that tests our values and puts a spotlight on those things we are hanging onto deep down. It niggles and unsettles us, draws us to continual newness and has an uncanny way of changing us from within. You can almost hear the whisper, ‘come on, take a risk!’ Spontaneity blasts through the walls of over planned lives. Comfort zones, be they physical, material or spiritual are destroyed. Possibility is born. Hope is alive! God’s spirit does all this with a smile, and with the promise that was given to Mary at the encounter of the annunciation – “nothing will be impossible with God”.

So, in this season of Easter, we are challenged to be attentive to God’s activity in our lives and in the world around us, and to be ‘listening’ for what God is asking of us. The resurrection story from Luke we heard a couple of weeks ago provides an insight for how this encounter might occur. It will be ordinary. God will meet us in our everyday. The invitation is to detect signs The invitation is to detect signs of the resurrection in the small events of daily life. There is nothing more simple and everyday than two people walking along a road, talking to pass the time and being joined by another. As the hidden God is revealed, we are inspired to take ‘risks’ that lead to life.

Too often, the word risk conjures in our minds what might go wrong, the downside, the negative aspect. Looked at from another angle - God is life, God is love, God is light – and the risks God inspires in us lead to goodness, both personal and common good. They inspire creativity, imagination and dreaming. They cause communities to thicken, relationships to grow and friendships (new and old) to flourish. We grow. This, however, does not write sacrifice out of the script, nor commitment, nor uncertainty, and at times a sense of loss. It does turn the question on its head though – ‘what if I don’t take the risk?’ There were many moments when Marcellin risked everything in response God’s call in his life.

Many others have done the same. What is your appetite for risk in response to God’s call in your life?

Br. Jeffrey Crowe, Provincial

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