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Lk 6:17, 20-26

He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon.

Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. “Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. “Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.

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.



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The Voice of Jesus

The Oscars are next Sunday! I love the Academy Awards. They give us a chance to recall the outstanding films of last year. My favorite was a documentary called “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” It’s a moving portrait of the television personality Fred Rogers, who inspired generations of children, like me, with his imagination and compassion for others.

“Mister Rogers” was my first encounter with a truly Christ-like teacher. A recent critic noticed how he moved us, gently and liturgically, through his home. Each episode included an “opening greeting, invocations of friends and family, followed by a physical movement through the set’s spaces. In the kitchen, Rogers might learn from a friend how to make paper hats. He concluded where he started, changing back into street clothes and singing a dismissal, with a last spoken note on the value of caring for others, followed by a song.”

This film reminded me how grateful I am for early faith teachers like Fred Rogers. He helped me to feel what the warm welcome, friendly smile and kind voice of Christ might have been like. I use all that to imagine Jesus speaking today’s Sermon on the Plain, the sum of his ethical teachings. We’re told in John 7:46, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”

How might the voice of Jesus have sounded to our ears had we stood with him on that “level place” long ago? Try to imagine him speaking the words to you that Fred Rogers often sang for his audience at home: “It’s you I like!”

—Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic of the Jesuits West Province currently finishing his second year of Regency in the Advancement Office in Los Gatos, California.




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It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair
But it’s you I like
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys
They’re just beside you.
But it’s you I like
Every part of you.
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself
It’s you.
It’s you I like.

—Written by Fred M. Rogers, 1971





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Welcome to PrayLA

As a Jesuit school, Loyola Academy is rooted in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Daily prayer was an essential tool by which Ignatius reflected on his life and deepened his relationship with Christ.

We invite you to participate in this rich tradition of prayer.

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February 17, 2019


Mk 8:11-13

The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, asking him for a sign from heaven, to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” And he left them, and getting into the boat again, he went across to the other side.

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.



Ignatian Reflection

Even Jesus got frustrated

Despite the short reading, there is plenty to be said about Christ and our relationship with him in today’s Gospel. Passages that show Jesus’ emotions reveal to us the very human side of God. When the Pharisees asked Christ to yet again prove himself, Jesus was resigned to the fact that nothing he did would be enough for them. Their hard-hearted nature prevented them from understanding the countless signs Christ had already provided; one more miracle, one more explanation would not change their minds. This passage reminds me that frustration is a human emotion, one which we must know how to address within ourselves. Jesus retreated from a frustrating situation, aware of his own needs in the moment. As a high school teacher, I resonate with Christ’s profound sigh, “deeply from his spirit.” Jesus’s self-awareness in this Gospel story encourages me to listen to my own emotions in frustrating situations.

—Sara Spittler is the First Years Chaplain and a Religious Studies teacher at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.





Lord Jesus, you know our emotions because you experienced them, and you understand the frustration we feel at times.  Grant us patience, with ourselves and with others, and help us to know the right way to act when we encounter those to test our limits.  May we use these encounters as opportunities to grow closer to you. Amen.

—The Jesuit Prayer team





Based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, this is prayed communally at Loyola Academy each school day.

  1. God, I believe that at this moment I am in your presence and you are loving me.
  2. God, you know my needs better than I know them. Give me your light and your help to see how you have been with me, both yesterday and today.
  3. God, help me to be grateful for the moments when people have affirmed me and challenged me. Help me to see how I have responded, and whether I have been kind to others and open to growth.
  4. God, forgive me for when I have not done my best or have failed to treat others well. Encourage me, guide me and continue to bless me.
  5. As I look to the remainder of this day, make me aware that you are with me. Show me how to be the person you want me to be.




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