Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A new day to find Jesus right in our midst

Thank you dear Lord for this new day! A new day in which to serve you and to love my neighbor.

Mother Teresa once said, "It is very possible that you will find human beings, surely very near you, needing affection and love. Do not deny them these. Show them, above all, that you sincerely recognize that they are human beings, that they are important to you. Who is that someone? That person is Jesus himself: Jesus who is hidden under the guise of suffering!"

Mother Teresa served Jesus in all whom she met. Her work amongst the poor was extraordinary, but we too are called to serve the poor - the "poor" in our own families first and foremost, then we go out and serve the "poor" in our neighborhoods and communities. Yes, these poor are Jesus himself!

That grouchy person who may live in our own households, that "annoying" person we may know, that inconsiderate driver who almost ran us off the road, that co-worker who belittles our faith, that sister, brother or priest in our convent or rectory that we do not see "eye to eye" with, that homeless person we see almost everyday; these are the poor around us that we must love, serve, and pray for. Jesus calls us to a radical love. When we allow Jesus to love through us and when we truly see Jesus living in others--then the miracles will begin. Sometimes the love that we need to give others is shown in silence, in listening to the other's worries, concerns, even ranting, showing we care. In some cases, this love may be in not retaliating, rather "holding our tongue," showing love in exchange for the "dart," at other times we may offer some words, gestures or something more tangible. Of course, prayers offered in every situation are always beneficial.

Along with the miracles and transformations of hearts that occur when we allow Jesus to love through us will also come much grace for us and for our neighbor. We should find comfort in one of Mother Teresa's favorite Gospel messages: "'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me,ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for the least brothers of mine, you did to me.'" (Matthew 25: 24-40)

We must remember that it is no coincidence that God has put us where we are in our lives, with the various people that surround us. Self knowledge unfolds for us in our dealings with others and in our responses to them. Let us look around us and open our eyes to see who we may be forgetting to show our love to or are having difficulty doing so. We must love until it hurts. God will always give us sufficient grace. Every ordinary day is yet another opportunity to serve our Lord and his "poor" in an extraordinary way.


SandyCarlson said...

This is a wonderful post. I heard someone recenly who defined bliss as realizing you're exactly where you're supposed to be doing exactly what you're supposed to do. There is so much freedom in this information. It frees us to be in the moment, to enjoy everything about it, and to be grateful for it as the gift it's supposed to be. Thanks for this blog!

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...

Thank you, Sandy! Yes, you are right, living in the present moment, depending on our Lord for everything is very freeing and gives us much peace knowing we are prayerfully open to God's grace.