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  • February 20, 2018
  • 3:17 pm

A Lenten Challenge: “What are the questions that would liberate us…?”

February 20, 2018

A Lenten reflection from IPS Assistant Professor of Spirituality, Jean-Pierre Fortin:

According to the Gospel of John, when Jesus is brought before Pontius Pilate, he tells the Roman governor: “For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice” (John 18:37). Jesus was born, came among us to bear witness to the truth. For us Christians, who profess to be followers of Jesus, a fundamental task and challenge to accomplish and face is to bear witness to Jesus. As it invites us to experience and celebrate the mystery of Christ’s Passion, death and resurrection in particular fashion, the Lenten/Easter season is a most suited time for us to reflect on the quality of the witness we bear of and to Christ.

 A formative way to do this is to follow Pontius Pilate’s example, who admits to being profoundly challenged by the person and words of Jesus when he responds to Jesus’ witness with an honest question: “What is truth?” (John 18:38) Pilate opens himself to the possibility that he may be encountering a truth he had never foreseen. This encounter with truth in person may change who he is in profound ways. During this Lenten season, then, we may reflect on the ways Jesus questions our assumptions about our lives, we may think about the questions we have been carrying with us for some time (perhaps even a long time) which we know we should ask to Jesus in person. What are the questions that would liberate us, allowing us to pursue the truth revealed in Jesus in more faithful, complete fashion? We may bring these questions before Jesus in our prayer, with the desire and hope of being transformed so as to be able to bear witness to the truth that he is.


See below for other Lenten offerings, resources, and events taking place around Loyola University Chicago and the greater Chicagoland area.

The Campus Ministry team has put together this web page to help prepare the members of the Loyola Chicago community recommit to their baptismal promises at Easter by returning to the basic practices of their faith during Lent: https://www.luc.edu/campusministry/sacramental_life/eucharist/lent/.

The Mission Office invites you to begin and end this Lenten season with an Ignatian examen focused on forgiveness and healing.  Each session will begin with an examen followed by shared reflections on the insights or fruits of the examen.   The first examen will focus on forgiveness, and as we begin Holy Week, the second examine will focus on healing.  For more on this program, go to: https://www.luc.edu/mission/employeeprograms/lentenofferings/.

The Archdiocese of Chicago’s Department of Parish Vitality and Mission is delighted to provide Catholics and non-Catholics with a wide variety of opportunities to take Pope Francis’s words to heart and begin a Lenten mission of deepening relationships with those around them and with Jesus Christ.  For specifics, go to this page: https://pvm.archchicago.org/lenten-resources.

Finally, for web-based resources, Campus Ministry has collated the below handout:


To learn more about IPS, go to https://www.luc.edu/ips/.    For those interested in applying to IPS, go to https://gpem.luc.edu/apply/.