Jesus commissions his followers to begin their ministry with these words: “Whoever listens to you listens to me.” How the disciples must have been encouraged by those words.

Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Théodora Guérin, S.P., foundress of the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary of Woods, Indiana. In 1840, Sister Théodora was asked by her superior to lead a small band of fellow sisters to establish a mission and share of love of God with the pioneers in Vincennes, Indiana. As the sisters struggled to establish their mission, Sister Théodora comforted her fellow Sisters: “With Jesus, what shall we have to fear?”

The disciples listened to Jesus and spread the Good News. Mother Theodora listened to Jesus’ voice spoken through her superior and carried the Good News to the Indiana pioneers.

How well am I endeavoring to listen to Jesus’ voice speaking to me—both in my heart and through other people? How am I spreading the Good News, by word and example, to those who “listen” to me?

―George Penman Sullivan, Jr. is a Jesuit-educated lay leader who helped found Chicago’s Ignatian Volunteer Corps. He and his wife, Dorothy, live in Wilmette IL, and have four children and three grandchildren.