In today’s Gospel, I look to those in relationship with Jesus in his last days. The disciples did not comprehend the pain and despair that was on the horizon after only hearing of the goodness of the kingdom. Notably, at the end, we are told to not sit in our pain, but to serve through it. In the chaos of the pain, we are called to sacrifice ourselves and our comfort to do good work.
The Gospel reminds me of the days following the shooting in Uvalde, Texas and helping students process the pain that occurs after another cruel act of gun violence happens in a school.
“I am a leader of the Jesuit Against Gun Violence club here on campus, and I was hoping to organize a walkout at noon tomorrow in protest of gun violence in our country. I have no idea what Jesuit’s rules and regulations are concerning a walkout and I’ve never experienced one during my time at Jesuit, but I feel very strongly about this topic and I really believe that by participating in this walkout, we are best fulfilling one of the main Jesuit teachings about our call to social justice.”
Our comfort that day was gone. We had the green light and 15 hours to plan a school walkout. Chaos, an organized, urgent chaos. Which students know? Where will they go? Who needs to deliver these words? What needs to be said? How can we practice our faith doing justice?
Students made posters, brought microphones, wore orange. And hundreds walked out. They gathered, listened, cried, and demanded change from their local representatives. They demanded their own safety. I was humbled to watch students, in a chaotic 15 hours, turn their pain and despair into hope. May we all be called to serve in the midst of pain.
- How are you being led, during this Lenten season and beyond, to turn your pain and despair into hope?
- Where are you being called to serve in the midst of pain in your own community?
Amanda Montez Cobian is the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Jesuit High School in Portland, OR. She recently finished her graduate degree at the University of San Francisco in international and multicultural education. Her research centers alumni of Nativity schools and how they transition to predominantly white high schools. As a bi-racial educator, she aims to create the classroom environment she wished she could have had as a student and works to create systems of racial equity at work, in research, and as a co-author of Jesuit West’s Community Organizing for Racial Equity (CORE).