This is a difficult reading for me in some ways. The gospel reference to man after man can make me feel like the other, the un-named, and unimportant, to Jesus and to our Church. I take great comfort in the line “Jesus went to the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him.” I trust that I am wanted by Jesus, and need to have the faith to answer the call to come to him, even when I feel less than. I can easily get bogged down in the hierarchy of the church, but at my core I know that I am invited by Jesus, and called to extend the invitation. I believe that Jesus counts me among his disciples, along with the millions of other faithful women throughout history. In some ways, it is good to feel the exclusion of “the other,” to know the searing pain of being on the outside. Many men and women throughout the world are faced with the daily message that they are not important to their family, neighborhood, community, church or world. May I have the grace and compassion to “be a refuge for them until harm passes,” to name the nameless, and to assure “the other” that they are invited to the mountain.
—Bridget Grady Couture, PhD, serves as Director of Diversity and Community Outreach at Sacred Heart Schools, Chicago, IL. Bridget and her husband Matthew have two children and live in Chicago.