Today’s Gospel celebrates an “inauguration.” The Twelve are called by name, designated Apostles, and sent on a mission to proclaim salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus’ mission focused on outcasts, the “other”—the leper prohibited from entering town, the woman charged with adultery, those considered “sinners.”

On January 20 the United States celebrates its Inauguration Day as a new administration takes the oath of office. For many, however,––those fearful of losing medical coverage, those whose family members are potentially subject to deportation, and those subject to being stigmatized for their religious beliefs––this Inauguration Day is cloaked in trepidation.

Like the Apostles, we too are called by name and “sent on a mission.” What is our mission this dual Inauguration Day? Shall our mission include reaching out to the “other” in our midst, and sharing our time, talents, and treasure with the poor, the fearful, the marginalized?

―George P. Sullivan, Jr. is a Jesuit-educated lay leader who helped found theIgnatian Volunteer Corps, Chicago Chapter. He and his wife, Dorothy Turek, live in Wilmette IL, and have four children and four grandchildren.