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September 5 – Teresa of Kolkata

Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt

Read Matthew 25:31-46

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

More thoughts for meditation about Mother Teresa

Teresa of KolkataTeresa of Kolkata introduced herself by saying, ”By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.” She was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu on August 26, 1910 in Skopje, which was then part the Ottoman Empire (now capital of the Republic of Macedonia). She took her first religious vows in 1931, her solemn vows in 1937 while teaching in Calcutta (the now-corrected anglicization is Kolkata).

In 1936, while traveling through India, Sister Teresa received her call to help the poor while living among them. She began a new work in 1948. She had already learned Bengali, but she went further. She made her ”habit” a white sari with blue trim and became an Indian citizen while getting some basic medical training. In 1950, she began an order that became the Missionaries of Charity with 13 nuns (now over 5,000 worldwide). In 1952, she converted an old Hindu temple into the first Home for the Dying, a site for free hospice care. She died of heart problems in 1997 after being a prolific fund raiser, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, missionary, author, and advocate for the global poor.

“In the West we have a tendency to be profit-oriented, where everything is measured according to the results and we get caught up in being more and more active to generate results. In the East—especially in India—I find that people are more content to just be, to just sit around under a banyan tree for half a day chatting to each other. We Westerners would probably call that wasting time. But there is value to it. Being with someone, listening without a clock and without anticipation of results, teaches us about love. The success of love is in the loving—it is not in the result of loving. ”—from A Simple Path: Mother Teresa

More?

Video at Nobel Prize.org [link]

Interview with Malcolm Muggeridge and Mother Teresa. Muggeridge’s book Something Beautiful for God and film made Teresa famous. [link]

Video from Kenyan TV upon her sainthood ceremony. [link]

Suggestions for action

It is amazing how Mother Teresa, a small, simple woman from India, managed all the media attention devoted to her. She spoke to powerful people with an undiluted gospel message of love. Literally millions of people were enriched.

Consider her example. Do you think you need to be respected by famous people to be successful? Or are you content to pick up the dying and do what you can do? Rest in Christ for a minute and be simple—nothing more or less than who you are, dependent on Jesus, embraced by love.