On this past Saturday night, 27 of my fellow parishoners, young and old, gathered together for dinner and a movie. It was to be a documentary from the 80’s on Mother Teresa.
Not knowing quite what to expect, I sat comfortably watching when I realized how quiet and still everyone was. You could have heard a pin drop in the room. All eyes were glued to the screen as we watched a very simple woman’s life be laid out before us and how she answered the call to serve Christ. Not an easy request Christ asked of her – to serve the poorest of the poor. But she could not deny Him and neither could the many who wanted to be like her, eventually drawing thousands of women as Sisters, later to have Brothers, Priests and even lay members. They would go on to be not just in Calcutta India, but on all the continents of our world and in over 139 countries. They ministered to Christ Jesus by serving those in poverty, hunger, sickness and in dying, both physically and spiritually with their works of mercy.
But most people are already familiar with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity. Most of us already give to many charities and volunteer whether in community events, our churches, schools, workplaces or to families or individuals. Yet I had to ask myself, do I give till it hurts with a true labor of love like Mother Teresa? Do I extend myself to assist others when its not convenient for me or only when I have time or convenience? Do I take those short few seconds to look into someones eyes and smile at them without wanting something back? Do I see Jesus looking back at me or a person hurting who could use me to slow down and pray with them? Do I give from my surplus or from my supply? Jesus said we will always have the poor with us. The poor are a way for us, who are blessed with gifts of time, talent and treasure to extend ourselves and step out of our comfort zones.
Do I trust Jesus will meet my needs as the poor trust Him? What small acts of kindness will I do for another over what I need to do today? I’m thinking He means for this is to be a never ending thing, not a once in awhile gig.
Each time I trust in Jesus, He gives me something back, like happiness and peace in my heart- little feel good moments that give me a heavenly rush of joy which in turn makes me want to do so much more.
I’m not quite ready to give everything I have up, nor do I think the Lord is asking me to (yet!). But this morning my to-do list and priorities have taken on a different dimension and direction. Taking time with family, friends or strangers gives me the opportunity to draw closer to Christ through them and He gives me back so much more than I could have ever expected.
Whatsoever you do, to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me. I’m praying Christ will recognize me and whatsoever I did to His brothers, on my judgement day. How about you?