Fundamental Identity

I remember when one of my high school coaches talked to the team about receiving our game-day jerseys. He told us to remember that, when we wore them, we represented not only ourselves, but our families and teammates. We represented the school and all those who walked its halls over its 150-year history. Play, act, and know that you are part of something larger than yourself.

I like to use this image in my own spiritual life. Whom do I represent? With whom do I identify?

When we introduce ourselves to others, do we attach pompous titles – “Rabbi” or “Master?” Do we live for our own glory and praise or in a humble, authentic, and loving way – the way our families and friends have shown us?

Encounter someone, your brother or sister and carry in your heart your fundamental identity: a beloved child of God.

—Ryan Mak, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the California Jesuit province, is studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.