for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.
O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him, to receive a gift in return?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In my work with students in Jesuit schools, as well as in my own life, I find that the concept of the magis (or “the more”) can be very dangerous. In mission-driven institutions, filled with highly-achieving, well-intentioned people, the magis often becomes about the greater glory of oneself, the team, the school, the fundraising campaign. Ignatian Spirituality, and the final lines of today’s first reading, remind us that all things are from, through, and for God, for God’s greater glory.
And yet, in the name of the magis, we do more and more, stretching ourselves, our students, and our colleagues thin. When we are spread thin, there is no room for depth. The magis, I’m learning, is less about doing “more” and more about going deeper.
Is it possible that some of my striving is more about the greater glory of myself than of God? In what ways might I be called to do less in order to go deeper?
—Lauren Hackman-Brooks is a Chaplain in University Ministry at Loyola University Chicago – Health Sciences Division; she serves on the Board of Directors at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House and the Advisory Board of Jesuit Connections.
I am supposed to do everything in life for one reason: the greater glory of God.
Yet I spend most of my life unconcerned with this;
I waste it on petty things.
God, please grant me clear vision,
The vision to work for the greater glory of your name.
Please help me to wake up each morning with this in mind.
Help me to clear my mind of minor details that only distract me from my purpose.
Keep away the indifference that fogs humankind.
Point me where your people need help
So that I may go to bed each night knowing the world is a better place,
And your vision has been fulfilled.
—Written by Kirk Roberts, taken from In All Things: Everyday Prayers of Jesuit High School Students, edited by Michael J. Daley and Lee P. Yeazell.