In the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Advent, we notice three concrete invitations for the way we live: to preach, to repent, and to announce the good news.
The first invitation is to preach. John the Baptist preached through the humble way he lived and through the example he set for the many who followed him. We would say that he acted with great humility, since many followed him, confessing their sins and being baptized. In his time, John preached in the desert of Judea. Today, we should ask ourselves: Where is the “desert” in which God is present to us in the realities of this moment? Are we preaching in this “desert” through the way we live and the example we set? Or, maybe there are many “deserts.”
Repentance. In this second invitation, we reflect on how God, through John, has a clear plan: inviting us to repent and to prepare to encounter Jesus when he arrives. What is God’s plan for us today? What are God’s desires for me? Based on our experiences, let us focus our gaze and our hearts on the hope that Jesus brings. Like John, Jesus comes to teach us humility. But unlike John, Jesus remains with us and lives in our hearts when we turn to him for forgiveness. Once we allow him to enter our hearts, not only does he want to remain with us, but he also wants to give us his Holy Spirit.
Let us announce that Jesus has arrived. Advent is a time of preparation, so that when Jesus comes and approaches us, we can open our hearts to him and offer him a place. The way we live and the changes we make during this time of preparation are a concrete sign of how God is preparing us for Jesus to come into our lives. Let us prepare with humble hearts, and let us ask God for the grace not only to open our eyes and ears to hear and see Jesus, but also our lips to announce the good news that he is present to us.
Domingo Caratachea lives in Richmond, Virginia, and is a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. He coordinates the “Posadas Ignacianas” for the parish, and together with his wife, Marta, and two others, he coordinates a prayer group. He also leads an Ignatian group which gathers to deepen faith through Ignatian spirituality. Currently, he is in the process of discernment to become a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Richmond.
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.