After hearing me give a reflection on St. Martha on her feast day (which I plan to podcast as soon as my daughter – a/k/a technical adviser and podcast producer – gets back from camp), one of my friends said, “You should be a preacher.” One response is: I can’t be a preacher. I’m a woman and therefore can’t be a priest and therefore can’t preach.
But that takes an awfully narrow view of preaching. I think Sister Thea Bowman got is exactly right in saying:
“Now you know women can’t preach in the Catholic Church. But that’s not bothering me this morning. I can’t preach in the church. Women can’t preach in the Catholic church. But I can preach in the streets. I can preach in the neighborhood. I can preach in the home. I can preach and teach in the family. And it’s the preaching that’s done in the home that brings life and meaning to the Word your priest proclaims in his official ministry in the pulpit…
“Charles de Foucald once said that every Christian is called to shout the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ from the rooftops, not in words, but in life. We’re all called to preach, to shout the Good News by our lives. Never too young, never too old to share life, faith and love…”
We are all called to preach the Gospel. We do it in different venues: some from pulpits, some from the front of classrooms, some in a homeless shelter, some in the streets, some in the home. Anywhere and everywhere there are ears to hear we are called to preach the Gospel.
As a woman, I can spend my time lamenting that there places from which I can’t preach or I can preach where I can. Seems a pretty easy choice to me. I suspect St. Dominic, whose feast we celebrate today, and who founded the Order of Preachers, would agree.