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A reminder to never walk in with just one thing to say

This past weekend our RCIA catechumen (or candidates, in the case of my parish) went through their first Scrutiny, which means that we heard proclaimed the readings from Year A instead of Year B (and yes I know that candidates don’t technically go through the Scrutinies, but that’s a topic for another time).  Our RCIA director is off on vacation until just before Easter so I’m flying solo including for the Breaking Open the Word, where we go back and discuss further the readings of the day while the Liturgy of the Eucharist goes on at Mass.

Well I was all high and full of myself this past Sunday thinking I had found a great little tidbit to share, tying together the Gospel reading of the Samaritan woman at the well (from John 4)  with our topic of conversion.  It was all about how the pattern of her speech and her word choice changed as she slowly came to understand bit-by-bit who was this Man with whom she was talking.  Really good stuff, and compact enough to fit in the roughly half hour we have for the session.  That plan was working itself out just fine right until Father started his homily.  Let’s just say that Father and I must have been using some of the same sources.  My wonderful presentation went up in flames right before my eyes.  I think the folks behind me thought I had my own private stash of incense as my plans slowly smoldered.

Did I survive?  Yes.  Was the discussion as good as it could have been?  Hardly.  Did I learn a lesson?  Absolutely.  Never, ever, go into a discussion on any reading of the Bible with only one plan for what to say.  You just never know when someone else might be reading the same commentary.  To be honest, it also served as a humbling reminder that: 1) I can’t afford to be getting lazy just because I’m flying solo and 2) the depth of the Scriptures cannot be plumbed in a half hour and I do everyone a disservice by prepping only a half hour’s worth of material.  Mea culpa, my friends.  This weekend I intend to do better – at least two commentaries this time!

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