The canonization of Mother Teresa, known as the ‘Mother of the Destitute’ is a perfect gift to the church in this year of Mercy. We are now busy with contemplating on the mercy of God and how this mercy is reflected among the human beings. As the whole world would bear testimony to this auspicious moment of her canonization on September 4, 2016, we, Indians can be proud of the fact that we also could be part of the land where this mother worked as a living saint. However, along with our joy we also need to be aware of the challenges that this mother poses before us for becoming the agents of God’ mercy.
Mother Teresa is a true disciple who imitated Jesus very closely. In other words, the success of Mother Teresa is that she was able to become ‘another Christ’ for her contemporaries and for all future generations. What Christ proclaimed was literally put into practice by Mother Teresa. Jesus says: “truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose the reward” (Mark 9: 41). Even Jesus takes the easy and small merciful acts as serious and promises the reward, then how much he might have rewarded blessed mother Teresa who dedicated her entire life for the sake of the wounded, bruised and dying lives at the streets of Calcutta. Mother Teresa may be the rank holder among those who have rightly answered all the questions in the examination conducted by Jesus during the last judgment (Mathew 25: 31-46). God might have sent her to show us the most important aspect of Christian life which happened to be lost somewhere in the history of the church.
The Christian life is not something to be limited to a multitude of rosaries and rituals. Rather, it contains our indebtedness to others and to this nature. This is the lesson we can draw from the life of Mother Teresa. The prayer life of a Christian should be such that it should enable him/her to respond to the needs of others consciously and creatively. Therefore the need to become the guardian of others is equally applicable to every Christian, ranging from common laity to the Pope.
The preparatory meeting of all Jesuit Provincials of India for the 36th General congregation was held in Pune. The meeting contained great intellectuals, leading writers, administrators etc. Still, the last day of the meeting was reserved only for various exposures at slums, prisons, Red-streets etc. Such an act stood as a great eye-opener and a source of inspiration for all of us here. Similarly, the people of Karnataka are now witnessing the great acts of charities by one person named, ‘Auto Raja’ who has set his life apart for the service of the orphans at the streets of Bangalore. Once a full time goon, he had destroyed many lives. But, God transformed his life and molded him after the figure of Mother Teresa for the care of destitute and orphans.
In this year of mercy, it is worth remembering the priests, religious and laities who are working for the betterment and growth of others. And especially let us commemorate Mother Teresa who, drawing inspiration from the life of Christ committed herself to the service of the poor and the lowly. Therefore, let’s begin with Christ, if we are planning to make this year of mercy and the life of Mother Theresa as parts of our own lives. Let the person of Christ who raised the widow’s son from death, forgave the woman, caught in adultery and accepted the righteous thief, influence our lives in this year of mercy. Thus, we shall celebrate this year with charities and concerns for the other. Let us pray that the Lord may grant us empathetic hearts to cry with others when we see their tears.
Bro Ebin Orathel CST