Last Sunday at the Vatican, in front of thousands of people, Pope Francis canonized Mother Teresa, the humble woman who taught us so much about caring for the poorest and the most vulnerable. She is now Saint Teresa of Calcutta and her life stands as a model of charity, fearless in speaking the truth, and perseverance in the face of suffering and darkness. What a blessing for our Church, to have a Saint of our lifetime to help us as we strive to hear God’s call for each of us to reach out to the poor and needy in our lives.
In his homily, the Pope said: “Mother Teresa, in all aspects of her life, was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defense of human life, those unborn and those abandoned and discarded. She was committed to defending life, ceaselessly proclaiming that “the unborn are the weakest, the smallest, the most vulnerable”. She bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their Godgiven dignity; she made her voice heard before the powers of this world, so that they might recognize their guilt for the crime of poverty they created."
“Today, I pass on this emblematic figure of womanhood and of consecrated life to the whole world of volunteers: may she be your model of holiness! May this tireless worker of mercy help us to increasingly understand that our only criterion for action is gratuitous love, free from every ideology and all obligations, offered freely to everyone without distinction of language, culture, race or religion.”
“Mother Teresa loved to say, “Perhaps I don’t speak their language, but I can smile”. Let us carry her smile in our hearts and give it to those whom we meet along our journey, especially those who suffer. In this way, we will open up opportunities of joy and hope for our many brothers and sisters who are discouraged and who stand in need of understanding and tenderness.”
May our hearts be moved to the service, conviction, and perseverance that this new Saint reminds us is part of each of our baptismal calls. Saint Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us!
Note from Father Jason
September 11, 2016