‘America’ in Rome, Day 2: The Church of the Gesu

The pilgrims at the Gesu. The pilgrims at the Gesu. 

America Media is in Rome on pilgrimage Oct. 22-28. With Father Matt Malone as our guide, we’re exploring the center of the Catholic Church and the sites where the Society of Jesus has been living and working since the time of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Join us at our America Journeys website for a virtual pilgrimage as we offer reflections each day.

On Oct. 24, we celebrated Mass at the Church of the Gesu, the mother church of the Society of Jesus. 

Here is the homily delivered there by Father Matt Malone

Advertisement

It was considered audacious, even hubristic, for the first companions to call their society the Company of Jesus. For some, it was a scandal. For Ignatius, it was only fitting that this new religious order should take the name of its true and only head. Yet he would have agreed that there is something scandalous about it.

“And they named him Jesus,” St. Matthew says. If I were to produce a new translation of this Gospel story, I might title it something like “Notes on a Scandal.”  By “scandal,” of course, I do not mean—nor did Ignatius—a lie that corrupts a truth but rather a truth that subverts a lie; an irruption that causes the lie or the liar to stumble. The incarnation of our Lord—this astonishing act of love in which God enters a human body—is just such a scandal. Here in Mary’s loving arms, love itself has become incarnate; faith, hope and love beat for the many, in the heart of the one.

Read the full homily here

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

So what does it matter what a celibate woman thinks about contraception?
Helena BurnsJuly 20, 2018
Former US President Barack Obama gestures to the crowd, during an event in Kogelo, Kisumu, Kenya, Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo Brian Inganga)
In Johannesburg, Obama gave what some commentators consider his most important speech since he vacated the Oval Office.
Anthony EganJuly 20, 2018
With his "Mass," Leonard Bernstein uses liturgy to give voice to political unease.
Kevin McCabeJuly 20, 2018
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, arrives for the Jan. 6 installation Mass of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
Women often “bring up the voice of those who are the most vulnerable in our society,” says Hans Zollner, S.J., who heads the Centre for Child Protection in Rome.