We continue with the acrostic reflection on “misericordia” Pope Francis gave in his address to the curia last December. If you’ve been following, you’ll note that instead of just one word, he is giving some thought to related or contrasting principles.
11. Intrepidness and alertness: being intrepid means fearlessness in the face of troubles, like Daniel in the den of lions, or David before Goliath. It means acting with boldness, determination and resolve, “as a good soldier” (2 Tim 2:3-4). It means being immediately ready to take the first step, like Abraham, or Mary.
Does an opportunity coming from thin air (seemingly) fill us with dread or worry? Or would we be prepared to move. Twice in my ministry career, I received a job offer shortly after I had accepted and even moved to a new location. What was that about? Was my declining to take on a new and more exciting opportunity a cop-out?
An intrepid disciple must also be aware of commitments made. I also think that troubles pop up wherever one is and whatever one does. It’s just a matter of being prepared to go with the moment …
Alertness, on the other hand, is the ability to act freely and easily, without being attached to fleeting material things. The Psalm says: “if riches increase, set not your heart on them” (Ps 61:10). To be alert means to be always on the go, and never being burdened by the accumulation of needless things, caught up in our own concerns and driven by ambition.
… and to set aside things like an exciting location, a larger salary, or more adulation from peers. Right?