To convert our gaze

It is very difficult to bring about a conversion in our gaze at this time that we live as humanity.

Fr. General Arturo sosa, SJ

These were the words of Fr Arturo Sosa, during his homily for the Ash Wednesday celebration that he presided over for the community of the General Curia. Here are some excerpts from that homily that can inspire our way of praying and living during Lent.

“As we receive the ashes on our heads, in this year 2021, we feel in our whole bodies the weight, the weariness of a seemingly unending year, which has been full of tension and uncertainty. St Paul reminds the Corinthians of the message that is being addressed to us today. He says emphatically ‘Now is the favourable time, now is the day of salvation!’ (2 Cor 6,2)

We are invited to begin Lent by bringing about a conversion in our gaze. Together with the ashes we are offered eye drops, so that we can see God’s action in this time and feel it as kairòs, as a favourable moment. We also receive the ashes as a sign of our desire to be converted to the Lord and to experience that we are now living the day of salvation.


It is very difficult to bring about this conversion in our gaze in this moment that we live as humanity. If we look at the daily bulletins of the health service in Italy or any other country, if we look at the list of our Jesuit brothers who have been infected or have died due to the covid virus, if we look at the messages from our families and friends, our vision is blurred... we feel the absence of God and we long for this time to come to an end.

St Paul himself offers us the key to break this cycle, to change our gaze and to lift up our despondent souls: ‘We beseech you in the name of Christ: be reconciled to God’ (2 Cor 5,20). The possibility of our conversion does not lie in our own strength, not even when we are strong and even less at the present time, when we feel ourselves weak. It is only God’s action that can change our lives.

As we receive the ashes on our heads, we confirm our commitment to the task we have received of contributing with others to a mission of reconciliation and justice: ‘If you remove from your midst oppression, finger-pointing and ungodly speech, if you offer bread to the hungry, if you satiate the starving, then your light will shine in the shadows, and your darkness will be like morning light.’ (Is 58,9-10)

Deepening our commitment with the choice made as members of the apostolic body of the Society, advancing on the path opened by the Universal Apostolic Preferences is what transforms the life of each one of us.”

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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