Today’s reading invites us to follow the teachings of the Lord, for he will lead us to the path of righteousness.
With the past year’s events seared into our memory, our faith is being challenged in ways that we could not have imagined. As we have wrestled with COVID-19, a historic racial reckoning, severe economic ramifications, and a tumultuous election season that included a siege on the Capitol, it has caused us to question not only the integrity of many of our American institutions, but also many of our relationships with friends, neighbors, and loved ones. We can’t escape the cry from every street corner and mountaintop that we center human dignity and provide equal opportunities for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Never has it been more evident that we must lean on one of our foundational Ignatian values, that of a faith that does justice.
Our national reality invites us to reach a new level of consciousness, commit to building new relationships, see with fresh eyes, and live our mission intentionally in the most prophetic way. Let’s cherish our many blessings that our communities afford us, including bringing together a diverse group of people with a multitude of backgrounds, lived experiences, home contexts, and disparate aspirations with the ultimate goal of being a beacon of light and hope for our world.
Bound together by this foundational value of the Jesuit mission and Ignatian charism, we have a precious opportunity to learn from each other, grow to love each other as we are, as we invest in understanding our unique stories and the richness of our cultures. We will seek to promote justice in a way that creates space at the table for everyone.
“No daylight to separate us. Only kinship. Inching ourselves closer to creating a community of kinship such that God might recognize it. Soon we imagine, with God, this circle of compassion. Then we imagine no one standing outside of that circle, moving ourselves closer to the margins so that the margins themselves will be erased.”
― Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J., Tattoos on the Heart
- In what ways can you respond to the call to create space at the table for everyone?
- How can you deepen your presence at the table by committing to building new relationships and learning from those around you, especially those whose lives do not mirror your own?
Jamal Adams is director of equity and inclusion and director of faculty at Loyola High School of Los Angeles. In addition to those duties he is also a teacher in the social studies department teaching economics and African American studies, as well as the head varsity basketball coach. As a graduate of Loyola High School, he matriculated to Columbia University where he was a member of the men’s basketball team, as well as earning a degree in economics. Jamal’s professional career began with an 11-year stint working in finance in both New York and Los Angeles. Upon his return to Loyola as an educator, Jamal earned his masters degree in secondary education from Loyola Marymount University, graduating with honors. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife Pam, while their daughter, Jaylen, and son, Jerod, are currently college students.