By the accident of the calendar, today’s gospel falls on the Jesuit feast of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, a Jesuit brother who served for 45 years as doorkeeper and receptionist at the Jesuit College of Majorca, Spain. Alphonsus entered the Jesuits at age 38, after the suffering of losing his parents, his wife and young son to disease. His daily life of dealing with students, faculty, and visitors (including beggars and the poor) who came to the front door of the Jesuit College was notable for his hospitality and helpfulness. His

Alphonsus was someone who found joy in hardship, fame in the humble task of answering the front door. Despite his personal struggles, he found peace in helping students find their way, attending to his brother Jesuits with their many needs, and taking care of the poor who showed up throughout the day and night. In the spirit of today’s gospel reading, Alphonsus found greatness and joy in the midst of  menial daily tasks as he “watched the door.”

—The Jesuit prayer team