Today’s Gospel reminds me of a conversation I had with a Jesuit in 1997. I was scared, felt alone, and embarrassed to face my reality. I was with child and didn’t know what to do. I remember clearly the embarrassment I felt that afternoon as I told him I was expecting. I thought for sure I was going to lose my job and be asked to leave his office. You see, this priest was also my employer.

But this was not how it happened. He said to me with a bright smile, “Congratulations, you are carrying a great gift from God!” Not what I expected to hear. Through this Jesuit’s words and actions, he was living the great love Jesus talks about. This priest was not worried about what others would say. He loved me unconditionally and never made me feel any less. This is the true love God calls us to live, “that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”

—Cecilia Hernandez works in the Vocations Office for the Midwest Jesuits.