Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
(I Peter 1:10-16; Mark 10:28-31)
Novelist Ann Lamott tells the story of a young tennis player who is prone to cheat. She calls balls that hit the line “out” in order not to lose a point. A man sees her doing this and tells her so. But more than correcting her, he befriends her and admits, “I did what you did....I cheated.” At the end of the story the young player overcompensates by calling balls that go beyond the line “in” so as not to appear dishonest. But then she summons the courage to call a long shot as out. With that the man stands up to leave the match which causes the girl’s mother to ask, “’Aren’t you going to stay and watch Rosie win?” The man answers, “’I already have.’”
Peter’s letter to the Christian community calls us to the same kind of integrity. We are to give up “the desires of our former ignorance” in order to live in accord with the holiness of God. Honesty needs to be as implicit with us as we expect a nurse to treat his patients with care. More than that even, we are to set a model example in whatever we do – whether people expect it of us as, for example, when we refrain from cursing and when it is most difficult as occurs at times when women are called to carry a baby to term despite danger to their own lives.