Igniting Our Values
Igniting Our Values

March 10, Tuesday

Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice

Educator and Ignatian colleague Ellen Spake challenges us to ask ourselves, “What does it look like to be mission-driven, mission-animated, mission-lived?”

A.C. Alves

Scripture Readings

Sunday Readings - Week 3

EX 20:1-17
1 COR 1:22-25
JN 2:13-25



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

Daily Reflection

Animating the Jesuit Mission
by Ellen Spake, Ph.D.

One of my favorite prayers is this passage from St. Ignatius…

Love consists of sharing what one has
and what one is
with those one loves.
Love ought to show itself in deeds more than in words.

We are called by St. Ignatius to the Jesuit mission of the service of faith and the promotion of justice. Early Jesuits spoke of their work as “helping souls”. The 32nd General Congregation of the Society of Jesus stipulated that the promotion of justice must be integral to all ministries in the service of faith. The emphasis on becoming men and women for and with others became an expected and visible representation of the Ignatian charism.

How do we animate the Jesuit mission in the university? How do we ensure that we all exemplify Fr. Kolvenbach’s vision that “the real measure of our Jesuit universities lies in who our students become.” What does it look like to be mission-driven, mission-animated, mission-lived?

Mission cannot be a top-down driven process. It must percolate within and across the university and grow in the hearts of each community member. For examples, we need only look to the heartbeat of our universities — graduates, faculty and staff — where our Catholic and Jesuit mission bubbles up as a living, breathing entity.

The physical plant staff that spends a week each year in service to a camp for children with cancer. The graduate who develops physical therapy services in the Dominican Republic. The faculty member who works with business owners in Haiti on ways to improve their income. The graduate who launched Imana Kids, a non-profit agency that sends children from an orphanage in Rwanda to boarding school...

So many stories, ranging from the big and bold to the small, but equally as important; each story is an embodiment of the Jesuit mission, whose animation is, indeed, shown more in deeds than in words!

Animar la misión jesuita
Por: Ellen Spake, Ph.D.

Una de mis oraciones favoritas es este pasaje de San Ignacio…

Amar consiste en compartir lo que uno tiene,
lo que uno es,
con aquellos que uno ama.
El amor debe mostrarse a sí mismo en obras, más que en palabras.

Estamos llamados por San Ignacio, a la misión jesuita del servicio de fe y la promoción de justicia. Los primeros jesuitas hablaron de su trabajo como “ayudar a las almas.” La 32ª Congregación General de la Sociedad de Jesús estipuló que la promoción de justicia debe ser integral a todos los ministerios en el servicio de fe. El énfasis en devenir hombres y mujeres para y con los otros, se convirtió en una representación esperada y visible del carisma Ignaciano.

¿Cómo le damos vida a la misión jesuita en la universidad? ¿Cómo nos aseguramos de que todos ejemplificamos la misión de P. Kolvenbach que dice “la verdadera medida de nuestras universidades jesuitas, se manifiesta en quien llegan a ser nuestros estudiantes.” ¿A qué se parece ser misión-motivado, misión-animado, misión-vivido?

La misión no puede ser un proceso impulsado de arriba hacia abajo. Se debe filtrar dentro y a través de la universidad y crecer en los corazones de cada miembro de la comunidad. Por ejemplo, sólo necesitamos ver el palpitar de nuestras universidades — graduados, facultad y personal — donde nuestra misión católica y jesuita se manifiesta como una entidad que vive y que respira.

El personal de planta física, que dedica una semana de servicio cada año, a un campamento para niños con cáncer. El graduado que desarrolla servicios de terapia física en la República Dominicana. El miembro de la facultad que trabaja con empresarios en Haití, buscando maneras de mejorar sus ingresos. El graduado que puso en marcha Imana Kids, la agencia sin fines de lucro en Ruanda, que envía niños de los orfanatorios a los internados…

Son muchas las historias que van desde lo grande y audaz a lo pequeño, pero igualmente importantes; cada historia es una encarnación de la misión jesuita, cuya animación se deja ver, ciertamente, más en obras que en palabras!

Ellen Spake is the assistant to the president in the Office of Mission and Ministry at Rockhurst University. She has been at the university for 33 years, previously serving as founder and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy Education and director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Ellen is a proud graduate of the Ignatian Colleagues Program (ICP).


God of love,
help us to use the gifts you give us
for the people who need us.
Help us to see their need and, inspired by your Son,
reach beyond ourselves,
beyond our institutions,
to the very margins and bring all to you, the center.
May all we do be in preparation to serve more fully,
seeking you in the world that we are invited to create with you.
Send your Spirit to keep us aglow with the desire of justice.



We have created a 'disposable' culture, which is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. This culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us. In this system, which tends to devour everything that stands in the way of increased profits; whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market.
: Pope Francis

Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the Church’s mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation.
: Synod of Bishops, 1971

If there is no change, there is no change.
: Danny Graham

Interior conversion is not enough. God's grace calls us not only to win back our whole selves for God, but to win back our whole world for God. We cannot separate personal conversion from structural social reform.
: Pedro Arrupe, SJ


Danny Graham: Those least like us have the most to teach us about ourselves (TED Talk)

Capaillín Dubh ina Thaibhreamh (Z. Conway/J. McIntyre)

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