Even before I met a Jesuit, I took up St. Ignatius’ admonition: “go…and set the world on fire.” Change the world – that’s what I wanted to do!

Then I grew up. Somewhere along the way, I realized that passion alone was not enough. I needed an agenda that would channel my zeal. And that is when today’s Gospel became real for me. Question: “So how, exactly, do you plan to set the world on fire?” Answer: “Preach good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, give sight to the blind, and set at liberty those who are oppressed.”  And lest anyone was dozing during the day’s reading, Jesus’ homily made it clear. He would not be working flashy miracles in their midst; rather, Jesus would minister to the least, the lost, and the last.

Not a bad agenda. So how does his agenda inform my agenda today?

—Howard Craig is the provincial assistant for Advancement on behalf of the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin provinces of the Society of Jesus.