Today’s Mass Readings

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As I have reflected on the racial injustices within our Ignatian Family, I am often challenged by the lack of racial diversity that exists within many of our Jesuit institutions.

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What masks do we wear to conceal our true, God-given identities?

Navigating my way through this lack of diversity, I have often tried assimilating myself into the predominantly white spaces that make up our Ignatian Family. For a long time, I have struggled with revealing the truth about myself; failing to celebrate my own Chicano identity in order to fit in. Yet, I am tired of pretending to be white.

Over the past week we have been listening to Jesus revealing the truth of himself to the Jews in the Gospel readings. It has been a complicated process, and the Jews do not fully understand who Jesus is and what he is trying to communicate to them. In today’s reading, he declares that “before Abraham came to be, I AM.” In doing so, he revealed the most honest truth about himself, and as a result was persecuted and threatened with being stoned. 

Jesus provides a powerful example of living into his full self. To deny this, he tells the Jews, “I would be like you a liar.” I recognize the need to risk the truth in revealing myself, my culture, my identity when entering into our Ignatian Family. The question is, how will I be received? If I do not fit into the small box that one expects to find in our Ignatian circles, will I too be run out, like the Jews did to Jesus?

Reflection Questions:

  • Am I able to be fully myself in the circles I associate in?
  • In what ways do the spaces I exist in help or hinder others to be fully themselves?
  • How might I create a space where everyone can celebrate their full racial and cultural identity freely?

3 replies
  1. Elaine Mullin
    Elaine Mullin says:

    Well, Marcos, your reflection from today leaves me surprised and somewhat confused. If you are a Jesuit Scholastic then surely you have come across the account in Genesis of the Creation wherein we are told that we are made in the image and likeness of God. i.e. We, ALL of us! When we believe and trust in those Biblical words nothing should shake us up about how any human being/organization/religious order treats us. We/you are LOVED by God and made in His image and likeness AMEN! Yes, others can be hard on us but, WHO’S words really count? If people don’t have your nationality to single out they will find something else to single out, but, only if you let them .

    Deep down, people just want you to be your true self and most people can tell an imposter. Jesus asks us directly “Who are you” and “Who do you say I am?” If you know who you are and who Jesus is you have the firm basis then you have all it takes to be yourself in any circle you find yourself drawn to.

    Reply
    • Emil
      Emil says:

      Would that it were so very simple, Elaine. Self discovery is a process not an event.
      Deep down most people want you to be who they want you to be. Being yourself is a hero’s journey. We all want to be someone or something–but to accept who we really are is the real measure of Being.

      Reply
      • Elaine
        Elaine says:

        Emil, would you say that the process of self discovery entails accepting who you are? If “deep down most people want you to be who they want you to be” how does that become a personal mandate? If we aren’t true to ourselves in knowing who we are then how can anyone else get to really know us? Being yourself is a must. If that is called a hero then you are your own hero. Perhaps it does take a journey to get to know who you are. But it seems we must seek to know who we ourselves are as a basis for approaching all of life. God knows who we are and I think He asks us continually who we are. That is God’s wonderful gift to us.
        Thomas Meton said “for me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore, the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self.” I guess that makes discovering my true self, accepting myself, and then having a relationship with God a priority.
        Thanks for your above reply. Self discovery is ongoing.

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