23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

by Lucinda M. Vardey
Today’s readings perfectly complement the canonization in Rome of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
We can look to many saints in our Church and see how their love of Jesus inspired them to act and serve him in others.  What we have in the example of Mother Teresa is a way of living the gospel in a very maternal way.  Mother spoke the gospel in her actions, and like Jesus, she explained them well in words.   Her wisdom combined the leadership of being a teacher with the heart of being a mother.
Mother Teresa is a gift to us because she brought Jesus alive in those she served and reminded us what true faith in God, and real love of Jesus, can accomplish.   She supplied us with an example of doing small everyday things with great love and she reminded us that this is how we can live the gospel: that it is in these simple actions that the world is indeed changed.
One person loved at a time: one person noticed, acknowledged, seen, heard and welcomed at a time.    And she emphasized that the person we would like to avoid is “Christ in his distressing disguise.”
We can never know the weight of crosses that others carry: we discovered after Mother Teresa’s death that hers was much heavier than perceived. Not only did she serve the Lord through physical hardships, her faith was being consistently tested by a lack of spiritual consolation.    The fact that no one was aware of her internal suffering shows her closeness to the abandonment of her Lord upon the cross.
She was Jesus’ disciple in embracing the Beatitudes.   She renounced herself to do his work on earth.  She brought peace to the suffering, hope to the despairing, joy to the sad.  And now we welcome her into the communion of saints.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta help us to continue to relieve the poverty of others by our acts of kindness.  Pray that we may remember that it is in the little things we can serve God the most.