When Ignatius visited the Holy Land as a pilgrim, he snuck away one evening to the shrine where tradition says Jesus last stood before ascending to the heavens. Ignatius wanted to see which way the faint imprint of Jesus’ foot on the stone was pointing. It might seem trivial, but not to one in love with Jesus.
Although he would happily have stayed in Jerusalem, Ignatius’ Franciscan hosts sent him back to Spain, just as angels dressed in white asked the disciples, “Why are you standing there looking at the sky?” Get busy with your mission of spreading the Good News about Jesus.
Ignatius never returned to Jerusalem but founded the Jesuits to make Jesus known. His profound affection for Jesus “lifted him up” whenever obstacles seemed overwhelming. His faith touched countless others.
Will those who encounter us see more than the faint imprint of a foot on stone?
—Fr. Tom Rochford, S.J. is moving to Denver where he will serve as chaplain and artist-in-residence at Regis Jesuit High School. He is an artist (primarily oil painting), photographer and videographer.