After reading Sunday’s Gospel, one word immediately comes to mind: Indifference. The Ignatian principle of indifference can sometimes be misconstrued to mean not caring or reflecting a lack of concern. Rather, Dean Brackley, S.J., describes it so clearly here: “Indifference means inner freedom…It means being so passionately and single-mindedly committed, so completely in love, that we are willing to sacrifice anything, including our lives, for the ultimate goal.”
I am challenged by Sunday’s Gospel passage to reflect on the addictions, attachments, or other things in my life that may inhibit me from truly being free to fully know God, love God, and serve God. For me, this is of utmost importance. Without reservation, I must take time to discern these things and continue to do so, for my inner freedom is what will truly provide me with the strength and endurance I need to answer my call to social justice.
Being a disciple is not easy. Doing what I know in my core to be just, while knowing that others may vehemently oppose me, can absolutely cause me to think twice about the decision I’m about to make. And yet, I must fearlessly proceed, even if it may be unpopular or if I feel discouraged.
Sometimes working for justice, challenging systems and existing policies, questioning authorities in power, and continuing the action and dialogue until change gets made, can be unpopular. And it can certainly get tiring. So I invite you to reflect: What helps you stay grounded in God’s love? Additionally, what do you need to let go of, in order to be so truly free and so passionately committed to living a life of abundant faith that commits you to justice? We are challenged by Sunday’s Gospel to reflect on these things, and we can relish in the promise that “Whoever finds his [her/their] life will lose it, and whoever loses his [her/their] life for my sake will find it.”
Crystal Catalan serves as the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Presentation High School in San Jose, CA. She holds degrees from the University of San Diego and Eastern University, and previously served as a missioner with Cabrini Mission Corps in New York, the Philippines, Swaziland, and Radnor, PA at Cabrini University. She recently graduated with a masters in pastoral ministries with an emphasis in restorative justice and chaplaincy at Santa Clara University.