By Sr. Sally Mitchell, OSF, ’95 MA

My life has been committed to living the mission of Jesus Christ, but if I were to take the final test and be evaluated on how well I am doing, I wonder if I would pass.

I’ve been offered the intellectual power of reason, the creative power of imagination and the moral power of will so that I might discover the real, envision the beautiful and actualize the good. This is what constitutes the heart and soul of our mission, and why we value science, history, art, language, literature, political science and religion. Each, in its own way, keeps us closely attuned to the traces of God in all things.

The Mission of the University of the Incarnate Word has, hopefully, been read by all of us. But we can’t stop there. Would you pass the test on the values from that Mission? The university is committed to educational excellence; I hope you found it here. Faculty and students support one another in the search for truth. The spirit of Christian service is perpetuated primarily through teaching and scholarship, while being open and supportive of innovation. Each area of the curriculum should include an emphasis on social justice and community service, while recognizing the diversity in our backgrounds. Each graduate completed this before leaving UIW.

One of the demands of our Mission is to see that truth itself can light the way to justice. It calls each and every one of us to discover God within our own hearts, to make God flesh, and to let God’s voice be our teacher. The measure of our success lies in passing on the message of Jesus.

Naturally, we bring our own personality and spirituality to our teaching and learning. Jesus shows us how to come together and how to put on the mind of God. He provides us with a way to freedom. We support and help transform each other, and in the process, the rest of our Mission reflects the destiny of all other relationships.

The final test is still coming and should instill a fear of the challenge, for our Mission requires belief and action. And so we ask ourselves: What makes us different? We are a community in progress and are being shaped by the world around us in the context of boundaries and permeability. Every way of life is both sinful and graced. In the sense of our being called, we must tend toward accomplishment in the name of the Incarnate Word. We are judged by how we live, and living the Mission is what we are called to do. I have often been recognized for living the Mission. But I’m not finished living yet, so it will be the final test that will prove how well I have done. You also have been formed by the Mission and will continue to put it into practice in whatever you do and wherever you live. Our blessings go with you.