News Detail
My choice to be compassionate was as helpful for me as it was for her.
A Jesuit's Lenten Reflection for Holy Week

By Juan Ruiz, SJ

En Español 

“That I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.” (Is 50:4)

April 9, 2017 — In the readings today we see models of the suffering servant. The perfect model is that of Jesus, who through his trial, persecution, and passion, never ceases to reflect God’s merciful love for his people. In a similar manner, the prophet Isaiah describes his own faithfulness through persecution and gentleness with those who are weary. They model for us how we can be ministers of reconciliation in the world. 

In my second month of teaching (just seven months ago), one of my most diligent students came into class looking upset. Being a new and insecure teacher, I insisted upon her participation in a game of charades. She responded with a look of anger and disgust and proceeded to act out inappropriately, to say the least. 

There was no doubt in my mind that I was being punished for hurt someone else had caused her. It was clear something was going on in her life. It took the rest of class to figure out how best to respond.

I could have responded with righteous anger for her poorly controlled behavior; I could have chosen to discipline her harshly. Instead, when the bell rang, I caught her attention on her way out, held gentle eye contact for a moment and said, “thank you for being patient and participating.” She held the gaze for a soft pause, then left without a word. 

I believe my choice to be compassionate was as helpful for me as it was for her.

There is no doubt in my mind that hours of prayer and boundless grace made my response possible. I do not always respond to my students with such patience. However, I always strive to follow the model of Jesus, the suffering servant. He experienced unjustifiable suffering at the hands of others and responded with a merciful love only God could show. 

Juan Ruiz, SJ

As we reflect this week upon the suffering that Jesus endured for our sakes, we can ask for the grace to show his mercy to others who hurt us. By doing so, we help reconcile each other and the world to him.  

Juan Ruiz, SJ, teaches Spanish at Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School in Houston. He also works in the Corporate Work Study Program, the component that sets Cristo Rey Schools apart. 

[Source: Central and Southern Province Jesuits]





Recent News

December 13, 2017 — Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver announced Michael J. O'Hagan as its next president.

December 7, 2017 — The Jesuits of Canada and the U.S. stand with the Jesuits of Central America, as they denounce the repression of the Honduran people by government authorities.

December 6, 2017 — The Curia in Rome debuted the site, dedicated to the 29th Superior General, one year after his death.

December 3, 2017 — Today marks the feast day of St. Francis Xavier, SJ. Next month, Xavier’s right arm — a precious relic usually housed in the Church of the Gesù in Rome — will be traveling to 14 cities in Canada.

November 30, 2017 — Higgins, currently serving in development at Santa Clara University, will begin Dec.15.


November 27, 2017 — For two decades, the annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice has addressed timely social justice issues in the Catholic context, this year with a focus on racism and immigration.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 11/13/17

America 10/30/17

America 10/29/17



Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House
Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House, located in Grand Coteau, La., has provided a beautiful setting for retreats since 1938.