The Merciful Face of Christ

Dear IVC Friends,

The Lenten Season really is a special one, in its invitation to each of us for spiritual growth. As we walk with Christ on his road to Calvary, we offer our own sacrifices and reflect on the gift of God’s love.

In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has given us a special invitation to reflect on God’s bountiful mercy for us and to receive it anew. Then we can go on to share it with others as part of this healing. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy offer us concrete ways to do this.

And that’s what IVC is about – offering hope and healing to individuals and communities struggling with poverty and difficult circumstances. Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, comforting the sorrowful. That’s what Ignatian Volunteers do. They are this merciful face of Christ to the people they encounter.

I invite you in this issue of Connections to read an article about and a reflection from two Ignatian Volunteers. Jesse Coronado’s work with Habitat for Humanity in Los Angeles raises funds and partners so families can realize the American dream of homeownership, and lift themselves out of poverty. You’ll read how he uses his personal gifts to the greater glory of God and those he serves. I also encourage you to read the blog post written by Ignatian Volunteer Nancy Brouillard McKenzie, “Immigration and Lent: Mournful Women Weeping”. Nancy’s service puts her in solidarity with those struggling from violence today in Central America, and in her blog post, she connects this in such a faith-filled way to Mary’s sorrow at the foot of the Cross. I think you’ll be moved by each of these members of the Corps.

As we journey through the second half of Lent, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I feel hopeful despite the suffering in our communities because of your involvement in our ministry of mercy and healing in the world!

Warm regards,