Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Homily - Humility - Mother Teresa of Kolkata
Audio: click here!
In this parable today, Jesus wants us to face the fact that we really aren't big shots or VIP's. The comparison game of getting on top and looking down on others gets us nowhere, like a game of running in circles, wearing yourselves out with no results. The humility that Jesus calls us to is a simple awareness of the fact that what divides me from my fellow human beings is superficial stuff compared to what unites me to them. I am much more alike them than I am different. I need to be loved and to give love. They need to be loved and to give love.
We encounter Jesus - and this was Mother Teresa's deepest conviction - first in the Most Blessed Sacrament and second in the poorest of the poor, indeed, in every fellow human being who is suffering. For her, the presence of Jesus in the poorest of the poor was just as real as in the Eucharist. Jesus teaches, 'truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'
We should not hide from abject poverty or run away from it. For if we do, we are running away from Jesus.
That's why we are told to invite those who cannot pay us back. Because we are inviting Jesus.
"Father, you will meet Jesus there in His distressing disguise as the poorest of the poor. Our visit will bring joy. for the most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved. The worst disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but the feeling of being unwanted." Her words reminded me of something else she had said: "There is more hunger in the world for love and appreciation than for bread."
So what are some ways we can put this into practice in our lives? How can we burst the bubble of our pride and meet Jesus in others?
1. Supporting our food pantry. This is one way we invite the poor to eat.
2. Associate with the lowly. Don't chase after the "big shots" to talk with them and get yourselves a place among the important.
3. Give the person in front of you the attention they deserve. Love them, and thus love Jesus in them. He is in there if you can believe it.