Take Courage, Get Up

BY BR. KEN HOMAN, S.J. | October 25, 2021
Sunday’s Readings

Sit down. Shut up.

I’ve heard those words a lot over the years. Classmates, bosses, parents, teachers, and even fellow Jesuits have said shut up in response to my cries for change. And frankly, doing so often seemed easier.

Yet the words of invitation have been all the more powerful. 

Take courage; get up. Jesus is calling you.

I first understood those words at the Ignatian Family Teach-In in 2006. As we sang, “We are one body, and we do not stand alone,” I found both the invitation and courage to say yes to God and the community. At the time, I was saying yes to working for faith that does justice. As I continued growing in that faith, it became clear that the deeper invitation was to become a Jesuit brother.

To work for justice is a universal calling from God. Through discernment, we learn how that universal call becomes concrete and particular in our own lives. Fatigue, dejection, anger, and sadness make it seem easier to sit quietly. But the restless voice of God will continue to nag us, just as Bartimaeus continued to call out.

There’s an even more subtle character in this story, however—the nameless person who spoke the words of courage to Bartimaeus. As the crowd rebuked Bartimaeus, someone shared words of hope. Our vocation never belongs to us alone. It comes from the community. The community at the Ignatian Family Teach-In in 2006 offered me that courage and call. 

I’m left praying with the question: What am I doing to encourage others to be brave and say yes to their call to a faith that does justice?

4 replies
  1. Dr Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    What I do to encourage others to be brave is to pray in their own words. God loves each one of us and wants us to grow in the graces He gives us. When people are asked to pray, they sometimes think there is a person who can do this better than I. Yet, when they are encouraged to do so, they become comfortable saying the prayer from their heart. They talk to God as a friend. They know Jesus as their friend and they want to help others learn to say the words of prayer from their heart. As Br .Ken SJ states our vocation belongs to the community and we need to look to them for the support we need. The more we encourage each other, the more it becomes a pattern and the community sees its goodness to all. Today, say a short prayer with another and encourage them to do so each day.

  2. Peter Samuel Wolczuk
    Peter Samuel Wolczuk says:

    Our faith will help us for our true needs but, maybe not so quick as we (impatient people) might want.

  3. Karine
    Karine says:

    Re: what I am doing to encourage others to be brave? This is a very good question. I am currently living a life that is not well connected to others (and especially those with whom we share a common faith). So, perhaps the best things I can do is to respond to posts like this and say, THANK YOU for the work you are doing. And, of course, support organizations like this with my prayers and financial support. It is important and good work, and you are not alone. I am grateful for you, the work you are doing, and the work of the Ignatian Solidarity Network. In my work life, I interact with college aged students, and I do try to encourage them to be brave in their efforts to do what is good, right, and just. For my Catholic students I reference Catholic Social Teaching and encourage them to live ALL these principles in their daily lives. I live in a conservative environment so I do my best to be a bridge builder and approach these conversations with great care and love, and reference the work of the USCCB.

  4. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    What am I doing to encourage others to be brave and say yes to their call to a faith that does justice? – Well said Bro. Ken. Evangelizing oneself is the first step, and the rest can follow.


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