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By Fr. Max Oliva, SJ

October 16, 2020 — Lately, I have been thinking about the Reign of God and our participation in helping it to come about — in relation to the U.S. presidential election. The theme that keeps reappearing in my consciousness is Life. Life in all its forms: from conception to death. No doubt the terrible consequences of the coronavirus, which has killed over 1 million people worldwide, has also prompted my reflections on Life.

There are many prisms for a reflection on Life:

  • The global concern for the life of the planet: Can it survive climate change?
  • The dignity of each person and the right to be born.
  • The lives of Black people in the United States, which have been snuffed out through systemic racial discrimination.
  • The children at our Southern Border, who are forcibly separated from their parents; and adults brought to the U.S. as children, who are now threatened with deportation to a country not their own.
  • The lives of Indigenous Americans, whose communities often lack the necessary health care to effectively fight COVID-19.
  • The life of the economy — because of the coronavirus, many people have found themselves out of work or unhoused.

It seems to me that we are in a struggle to protect the Life of:

  • Honesty
  • Empathy
  • Decency
  • Kindness
  • Compassion
  • Forgiveness

We further the Reign of God:

  • Every time we stand up for life in all its forms.
  • Every time we seek unity over division.
  • Every time we seek love over hate.
  • Every time we choose the truth over conspiracy.
  • Every time we speak up on behalf of those who are discriminated against.


Fr. Max Oliva, SJ was ordained in 1972. His career has focused on spirituality and ethics in the workplace, and he now serves as the Jesuit Liaison to the Business School at Gonzaga University. He has authored seven books. You can find Fr. Oliva on his website,