Igniting Our Values
Igniting Our Values

March 31, Tuesday

Men and Women for Others

Ignatian Volunteer Corps regional director Christine Curran uses a touching personal anecdote to get past the muscle and bone and expose what’s at the heart of being Men and Women for Others.

Scripture Readings

Sunday Readings - Week 6

MK 11:1-10
IS 50:4-7
PHIL 2:6-11
MK 14:1-15:47



A procedural note: our reflections and prayers will refer to the Sunday readings for the week, not the daily readings.

Daily Reflection

On the Line
by Christine Curran

Last fall, the Ignatian Volunteer Corps-Chicago lost alumnus Dave Kelly, an IVC volunteer from 2005 to 2012.

In his IVC role, Dave served as an assistant to the repairmen at an organization that performs home repairs for low-income seniors on the West and South sides of Chicago. As a “second pair of hands,” he helped carry the tools into the houses and held fixtures while repairs were made. Dave always spoke so highly of the repairmen and the overwhelming courtesy they showed to the elderly homeowners. And the repairmen, in turn, loved Dave.

Dave was an older white man — a retired police chief — working with African-American repairmen in primarily black neighborhoods, in a city that, like most American cities, is racially segregated. One day, the crew arrived at the home of an elderly woman. She ushered the repairman in, but told Dave he wasn’t welcome. She hadn’t ever let a white man in her house and she wasn’t going to now. Dave said he would go wait in the truck. The repairman turned to the woman and said, “Ma’am, Dave’s one of us. If he can’t come in, then we can’t help you.” They then turned around and left.

Dave’s eyes shone with amazement as he recounted the story. He marveled at their courage and moral certitude. These men didn’t discriminate in their work and they weren’t about to stand for any discriminatory behavior from their clients.

This story captures an important part of what it means to be a woman or man for others. Being “for others” goes beyond the helping relationship. It is having the courage to enter into a relationship with someone who may be very different from you and to be willing to put yourself on the line for his or her good.

I am for you, I am with you. This is the message that Christ offers us, even when he stands alone: before Pilate, before the angry crowds and the soldiers who mock him, and on the lonely road to Golgotha in this week’s Gospel. No one stands with Jesus.

If we are truly brothers and sisters in Christ, then we are called to stand with and for others, even in small, everyday ways.

Who do you stand with? How will you stand with Jesus this week?

Por: Christine Curran

El otoño pasado, el Cuerpo de Voluntarios Ignaciano de Chicago, perdió al alumnus Dave Kelly, un voluntario IVC desde el año 2005 al 2012.

Su rol en el IVC fue servir como asistente de los trabajadores, en una organización que realiza reparaciones de casas, de ancianos de escasos recursos, en el oeste y el sur de Chicago. Como “un segundo par de manos,” él llevaba las herramientas adentro de las casas y ayudaba mientras se realizaban las reparaciones. Dave siempre habló muy bien de los trabajadores y del gran respeto y cortesía que demostraban por los ancianos dueños de casa. Y los trabajadores, a su vez, amaban a Dave.

Dave era un hombre blanco, mayor — un jefe de policía retirado — trabajando con afroamericanos en barrios principalmente negros, en una ciudad, como en muchas ciudades americanas, racialmente segregada. Un día, el equipo de trabajadores llegó a la casa de una anciana. Ésta dejó pasar al trabajador a su casa, pero le dijo a Dave que él no era bienvenido. Que ella nunca había permitido que un hombre blanco entrara a su casa y que tampoco lo haría ahora. Dave le dijo que él esperaría en el camión. Los trabajadores le dijeron a la mujer, “Señora, Dave es uno de nosotros. Si él no puede entrar a su casa, entonces nosotros no podemos ayudarla.” Y se fueron.

Los ojos de Dave brillaban con una inmensa admiración al contar la historia. Estaba maravillado del coraje y de la acertada actitud moral de sus compañeros de trabajo. Estos hombres no discriminaron en sus trabajos y tampoco estuvieron dispuestos a tolerar ningún comportamiento discriminatorio de sus clientes.

Esta historia captura una parte importante de lo que significa ser una mujer o un hombre para los otros. Ser “para los demás” va más allá de una relación de simple ayuda. Es tener el coraje de entrar en una relación con alguien que puede ser muy diferente a uno, y desear correr el riesgo por el bien de esa persona.

Yo soy tuyo. Yo estoy contigo. Este es el mensaje que nos ofrece Cristo, hasta cuando está parado y solo: delante de Pilato, delante de la furiosa multitud y de los soldados que se burlan de Él, y en el solitario camino al Gólgota, en el Evangelio de ésta semana. Jesús está solo.

Si realmente somos hermanos y hermanas en Cristo, entonces estamos llamados a estar con y para los otros, aunque sea de forma pequeña y simple.

Y tú, ¿a quién acompañas? ¿Cómo acompañarás a Jesús, esta semana?

Christine Curran is regional director of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps in Chicago. IVC is a national organization that places retired and semi-retired men and women in service to poor and marginalized communities. As part of their service commitment, IVC volunteers participate in a comprehensive faith formation program in the Jesuit tradition.


you are always and everywhere for us.
Open our eyes to those who need us today;
ground us so deeply in your love that we are able to love,
we are able to risk,
we are able to truly stand with others.
And when we do,
help us remember that being for others
and with others
is love in action, not just words.
Today help us stand up
and remain standing
until all are able to sit and take their ease together.


Solidarity includes compassion, but it is more. Solidarity is not only a spontaneous movement of the heart that responds immediately, but also a decision to take action to join with, to form community with, those who are suffering. Solidarity takes place when a person or community not only sees a need and acts, but commits to follow up, to endeavor to see that action is taken to improve the other’s situation for the long run. Solidarity also includes a kind of mutuality that goes both ways in respect and accountability when the relationship grows. Solidarity becomes a two-way process because it becomes a relationship with both sides giving and receiving.
: Marie J. Giblin

Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.
:William Butler Yeats

Refine, purge, and set me on fire, raise me aloft, until my soul knows utter annihilation.
: Teilhard de Chardin


Infinite Wonders

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