Advent is a liturgical season of great significance to Christians. We have the opportunity to reflect on, and prepare for, Jesus entering the world as a child in need of love and care.
While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:6-7).
As we contemplate Jesus as a child, vulnerable and fragile, we are able to see his greatness. The example of his life reminds us of the fact that we do not need great wealth, power, or prestige in order to be accepted and loved. We spend our lives chasing positions, seeking recognition and admiration without realizing that one glance at the child Jesus is enough to see our own fragile needs as humans. When we welcome God, we let his purity and love manifest itself in us and in our world. His love saves and transforms us, so that we are able to discover that our ability for greatness lies in our vulnerability and the places we seem poor.
Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness (Phil. 2:6-7).
Advent invites us to look inward at who we really are in the eyes of God; to notice who we really are in our hearts. It is by staring into the tender eyes of the baby Jesus that we allow him to enter our hearts.
Jesus invites us during Advent to embrace him in his own vulnerability, because he fills the vulnerable places in us — our sadness and loneliness. He is with us in our suffering and fear, bringing his light and his peace. He nourishes us with his unfailing love.
Liliana Montoya and her family live in Dayton, Ohio, where she serves as the Hispanic Initiative Coordinator at the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives at the University of Dayton.
October 5, 2020 — Registration is open for Jesuit Friends and Alumni Sunday, which is returning once again this year — this time online. Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Joseph O’Keefe, SJ, provincial of the USA East Province, and Fr. Adam Rosinski, SJ, assistant director of vocations.
The Season of Creation concludes on the Feast of St. Francis (Oct. 4). Cecilia Calvo from the Jesuit Office of Justice and Ecology and Brenna Davis from the Ignatian Solidarity Network will offer a special Eco-Examen that asks us to reflect on our personal relationship with creation, acknowledge and amend our ways, and promote ecological justice by standing in solidarity with those most impacted by environmental harm.
The Office of Ignatian Spirituality (OIS) is hosting two virtual info sessions for a new initiative call "CURA." The first session will be from 5:00pm-6:00pm on October 1, and the second will be from 12:00pm-1:00pm on October 14.
September 8, 2020 – This month Pope Francis is asking us to join him in praying for Respect for the Planet’s Resources. We pray that the planet’s resources will not be plundered, but shared in a just and respectful manner.
August 12, 2020 – These two Ignatian examens are intended to guide prayerful reflection on the role that race, racism, and racial bias play in our lives and society. The first examen is written for everyone. The second is written primarily for people who identify as white.
August 12, 2020 – In early March, Jesuit ministry changed nearly overnight. Emails poured in, summarized in the word “canceled.” Masses were canceled. Retreats were canceled. Even Holy Week, for a moment, seemed like it might effectively be called off. But with remarkable speed toward the end of the Lenten season—no doubt attributable to the adaptability innate to the Jesuit way of proceeding—the ministry of Ignatian spirituality moved online.
August 3, 2020 – This month Pope Francis is asking us to join him in praying for The Maritime World. We pray for all those who work and live from the sea, among them sailors, fishermen and their families. Our world cries out for healing and renewal. May we place our hand into the hand of the God who calmed the seas that his beautiful gift of creation may be restored and all whose lives depend on the fruits of the ocean be protected, this day and always. As one, may we rejoice and give thanks. Amen.