Saint "Mother" Teresa: Witness to true discipleship.
On this day, Sunday September 4, 2016, Mother Teresa was canonized by Pope Francis and is now Saint Teresa! How blessed we are to be witnesses of this extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit not only on this day of canonization but in the daily life of one of God's "little ones" who gave everthing to God. The Scriptures come alive for us today as we encounter God's "little ones" in the person of St. Teresa who gave all in the name of love...in the name of God. In Mother Teresa we meet the widow who offered her last two coins and was held up to the world for all generations by our Lord as an inspiration and example of what it means to love. We encounter the boy who gave Jesus his five loaves of bread and two fish by which thousands were fed. We meet Veronica who comforted our Lord with a simple veil and a profound love. We recognize the 15 year old girl of Nazareth living in poverty who said yes to God with complete trust and love and became the Mother of the Saviour and the Mother of us all. And now, by the power of that same Spirit, we are given the gift of that five foot, 26 year old woman from Albania who on May 24, 1937 became known to the world as Mother Teresa as she approached the Altar of God's Church to offer her yes to become "the spouse of Jesus for all of eternity." Through that yes to give all for God, thousands upon thousands were fed by our Lord through the heart and hands of the Saint of Calcutta who is now a Saint for the world for all generations. Indeed, God's love, power, and greatness is manifested in and through our "littleness."
Many have described Mother Teresa as being holy yet so down to earth. Isn't this the true mark of sanctity? Isn't this what true discipleship is really all about? How can we say we love someone but remain distant and aloof from their pain and suffering? How can we say we are disciples of Christ unless we enter into and fully live the mystery of our Lord's Incarnation? This is the "call within a call" as she puts it that Mother Teresa heard on September 10, 1948 to become a "victim of love" for the poorest of the poor by following in the footsteps of Christ from the poverty of the manger to the poverty of the cross.
To love is to make oneself present to the other...to offer the total gift of self...to remove all barriers and obstacles...to step out from behind the cloud of unknowing and to reveal one's true self. In doing this, one becomes totally vulnerable to and for the other. God has shown us how to do this. He is not simply the God in the Clouds of Heaven...He is the God on the Cross of Calvary. It was God who was walking about in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve...it was God on His knees in the Garden Eden with the slumbering Apostles...it was God who came down from heaven as Fire into the hearts of the Apostles and becomes present to us in the Sacraments of the Church. It is God who makes Himself present to us in one another...in people like Mother Teresa of Calcutta...if we let Him...if we trust Him. God is indeed so great because He chooses to become so little...and we who become little have the power to become so great. Thank you St. Teresa for teaching us how...please pray for us so that we may waste no time in living it now.