Among the contemporaries of this day there might be a very few who have not seen or heard of Mother Teresa who has been declared a saint recently. It is not less than a miracle for me personally that a person whom, unfortunately I missed seeing a few times, but have heard a lot about and who lived in the years that I was here, is becoming a saint. It is but a dream come true for many followers of Mother Teresa, especially the missionaries of charity, that she is being raised to the altar for veneration. This canonization is nothing new in the church but since it is of someone, whom we have followed quite closely, her life, her words, her actions, it bears much consequences on our faith life. Mother Teresa, whom some of us have seen, with whom some of us have shared a few moments, about whom we have read a lot, about whom we have heard news bites that inspired us, is being raised to the glory of a saint. It is not Mother Teresa who is being raised to the status of saints, but together with her the thousands of people for whom she was the personification of Messiah. The state of those people, their families and all that they are, are being blessed by God in a very special way when Mother Teresa is declared as St. Mother Teresa.
Saints are those who fulfill the image of the creator God in them in and through actions pertaining to the nature of the creator himself. Mother Teresa channelized the love and compassion of God that was instilled in her into the lives of thousands of people who hungered for love and mercy. She realized that the most devastating hunger of the mankind today is the hunger for love. She took it upon herself as the mission of her life to give love to those people who lacked love. She could well recognize the people who were rejected by their own and were deprived of love. She chose them and loved them. She was able to see the love deficiency in her fellow human beings and reciprocating to this by the love of God, Mother Teresa became St. Mother Teresa.
Human beings: Springs of Divine Mercy
God while creating human beings instilled in them probably all the qualities that He himself had. His love, mercy, compassion and faithfulness are all there in the human beings. In fact, human beings are springs of the love of God, the mercy of God. They receive it in abundance from God, the ultimate source. They become mediums of this love and mercy to the entire humankind. It is not only in Mother Teresa or in likeminded saints like her that we have the love of God abounding. This love of God is there in every human being, in measures that differ from person to person. This difference in measure happens because some people realize that they have God’s love and mercy poured in them while some others don’t. They understand it as their duty to share that with others, with those people who have not realized or seen it in their lives. It is in this situation that a common man becomes a supernatural human being. S/he begins to pour out the love of God into the lives of people who are yet to look for it in themselves.
Saints are few in number in the world. It is probably because the number of people who realize the qualities of God instilled in them and recognize them are very few. Only when a person realizes and recognizes that God has bestowed in him/her his own qualities and needs to channelize them into the love of thousands of his creation who haven’t recognized it then human beings become springs of divine love and mercy. It is here that the people who live simple life and become springs of God’s grace in the lives of others are raised to the status of sainthood.
Mother Teresa: the Epitome of Divine Mercy
Mother Teresa, a nun who came to India from Skopje, Macedonia is seen in these decades that we live as the epitome of divine love and mercy. As a young nun when she heard in the core of her heart, the call of her divine master, she decided to become an instrument in the hands of her master. Teresa answered that call from the Lord till the last breath on 5th September, 1997. Today she is raised to the altar in order to be honoured because she lived the call of her master in at most faithfulness and genuine spirit. She is remembered today for the innumerable works of mercy and love that she accomplished among the people who were underprivileged and were kept away from the main stream of the society. She loved the people who were not loved by their own; she embraced those sick who were left to their fate by their own kith and kin. She had her whole life to be spent for the people who had none to take care of them.
While riding in a train from Calcutta to the foothills of Himalaya in the first half of September, 1946, Teresa heard the Lord calling out to her ‘I THIRST’. She at once knew for sure what was laid before her. She realized that the Lord is calling her to fill the vacuum that existed in the human society. She said ‘yes’ to the call of God and there Mother Teresa, the messiah of the poor was born. The creator God made one more of his creatures a medium of his love and mercy for the human kind.
It is not by merely living an ordinary life that one becomes the medium of God’s love and mercy rather by realizing his image and likeness in oneself and living to fulfill the same. God is filled with love, for the whole of humanity. He loves me and you. When I experience this love of God for me and then the need to love others then God’s love in me becomes efficacious. He loved the whole humanity and proved it by giving his only begotten son. Mother Teresa experienced this love of God for her and extended this love to the entire suffering humanity. She loved them by giving her whole life. Mother Teresa’s love for suffering humanity gains all the more significance when we understand that she lived in a span of history where people had only time for themselves and hardly found time for others. When the people loved themselves and forgot about the whole world around them, even their own blood relatives, Mother found it more gratifying that she loved the orphans and the dying; undoubtedly none of them being her relatives.
She saw in the people who were left on the streets of Kolkata to die as resemblance of Jesus Christ, her master. She bent before them to nurse because her master was compassionate to the sick and the suffering. When she touched them she had the satisfaction of having nursed her master. She can be rightly called the epitome of divine mercy in the world today because we haven’t seen or heard about a better human who lived her life to the fullness in this era of ours. We, you and me, who have seen by our own eyes the works of mercy and love that Mother Teresa did in our country, should become extensions of that divine mercy in our families, our society and in the world at large.
Fr. Rajesh P.