When I was seventeen going on eighteen I was a senior at Fairfield Prep, a Jesuit high school in Connecticut. I admired my Jesuit teachers for their intelligence, wit, and brotherhood. In time God called me to join them in the Society (more accurately, the Company) of Jesus. I dreamt of becoming a great missionary or theologian or explorer, as Jesuits were then known to be.
In time I came to understand what Matthew realizes in today’s encounter with Our Lord: “I am a sinner, but called to be a companion of Jesus.” Our Jesuit 32nd General Congregation used almost these very words to answer the question: “What does it mean to be a Jesuit today?” Pope Francis uses these words to describe himself. Do they describe you, as well? If so, aren’t you in good company?
Note: While you pray today, you might like to use Caravaggio’s painting, the “Call of St. Matthew,” as your image of reference. Also, click here for a video reflection on the painting by Fr. Jim Grummer, SJ, regional assistant for the US serving at the Jesuit Curia in Rome,
—Fr. Bob Braunreuther, S.J., a New England Jesuit, assists in pastoral ministry at Loyola University Chicago, and is minister of the Arrupe House Jesuit Community.