Isn’t there something so wonderful about holding a hand-written letter from the mail? It becomes a little treasure which is often saved and read again and again. Can you imagine how excited the members of the Church of Thessalonica must have been to receive this letter from the Apostle Paul? He tells them to continue to encourage one another and build one another up. This is at the heart of evangelization.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta, whose feast we celebrate today, is a magnificent example of evangelization. Jesus invited her to “Come, be my light” and this light radiates especially bright today, on this twentieth anniversary of her death and entrance into eternal life. Mother Teresa joyfully lived the Consecrated Life, following the Evangelical Counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience. She encouraged others to join her as Missionaries of Charity, and their religious family today includes active sisters, contemplative sisters, religious brothers, priests, co-workers, and lay missionaries. Their mission is to satiate Jesus’ thirst from the cross, which is the reason why you will find His words, “I thirst,” written beside every crucifix in their chapels around the world.
On March 25, 1993, Saint Teresa wrote a beautiful letter of encouragement to her community. As we invoke her intercession today, listen to her simple words:
“Jesus wants me to tell you again . . . how much love He has for each one of you—beyond all you can imagine. I worry some of you still have not really met Jesus—one to one—you and Jesus alone. We may spend time in chapel—but have you seen with the eyes of your soul how He looks at you with love? Do you really know the living Jesus—not from books but from being with Him in your heart? Have you heard the loving words He speaks to you? Ask for the grace, He is longing to give it.”
Sisters, have you experienced Jesus’ look of love? Have you set aside the time today to be with Him in your heart? What are the loving words He speaks to you now? When we receive Jesus’ love in the encounter of prayer, then we are strengthened to go out and love with His Heart. Every single person we will encounter this day needs encouragement. Who is He inviting you to love? Be attentive and generous; write a letter, make a phone call, stop in for a visit. Be Christ to the poorest of the poor.
Let us pray daily with the Missionaries of Charity, “Let them look up and see no longer us, but only Jesus,” as taught by Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman. (source)[Tweet “Sisters, have you experienced Jesus’ look of love?”]
Rose Coleman is a contemplative in action who delights in all things beautiful. Her adventurous heart has traveled many places—from circumnavigating the globe on a ship during college to some years in the convent as a religious sister. Exuberant from her childhood, she is an elementary school teacher who learns so much from her students. You can find out more about her here.