I am feeling so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend the 2023 Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. On Sunday afternoon, keynote speaker Ellie Hidalgo of Discerning Deacons shared about the Synod on Synodality, St. Phoebe, and the example of the women of Dolores Mission Catholic Church and the Amazon rainforest region. She spoke of the need for greater participation of women in leadership roles in the Church and reminded us of the words that Pope Francis shared with young people at World Youth Day: that in the Church there is room for todos todos todos!
In this week’s Gospel passage, Jesus urges us to stay awake, remain vigilant, and keep our lamps lit and full of oil. As I stood at the back of the IFTJ ballroom listening to Ellie’s speech, I could not help but feel the energy exuding from all of the attendees whenever she offered us a glimmer of hope for a greater role for women in our Church. The joy, applause, and hope were loud and clear.
This ballroom was filled with students, educators, and ministers who were fully awake and whose lamps were full and fully lit! They stood up and clapped and shouted as a witness to the Holy Spirit working among us. With their lamps in hand, they were ready and eager to be agents of positive change in our Church and in the world. Moreover, they were willing to share their oil with one another. I certainly arrived with my lamp running low and left with my lamp full and with oil to share.
Ellie and all of the folks of IFTJ preach and live the prophetic truth that there will always be enough oil to share as long as we listen to the Spirit and journey together toward a more loving, just, and compassionate world. With lamps in hand and plenty of oil to go around, we can go forward with the words Pope Francis shared with Ellie and her delegation in Rome at the start of the global synod process.
- What replenishes the metaphorical oil in your lamp?
- How can you be a part of making the Church a place for “todos, todos, todos” (everyone, everyone, everyone)?
Tomi Korsa is a lay student in the master of divinity program at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA. Prior to studying at JST, Tomi graduated from John Carroll University in Cleveland and served as a Jesuit Volunteer at Dolores Mission Church in Los Angeles.