Jesus wants me to tell you again...how much love he has for each one of you — beyond all you can imagine.
He said, "You did it to me. I was hungry. I was naked. I was homeless." The forgotten man in the street, the one we picked up in the streets of Calcutta, was Jesus bearing that man's appearance. It was Jesus who was hungry. I will never forget the man who was half-eaten by worms when we found him. He was tenderly carried to the home for dying destitutes. On the way, he murmured, "I have lived like an animal, but now I am going to die loved and surrounded with care." That is how he died and went home to God. That was Jesus under the disguise of the poor.
One of our novices had come from a far-off country and a well-to-do family. She was sent right away to our home for the destitute who are dying, just like the rest of the novices. Before they left, I told them, "During Mass you have seen with what care and tenderness the priest touched the body of Christ changed into the Bread of Life. Do the same in the home for dying destitutes."
Three hours later, the novices returned. The newly arrived novice came up to me and said full of joy, "Mother, I have been touching the Body of Christ for three hours!" I asked her, "What have you done?" She said that she had rescued a man lying in the gutter, half eaten by worms. "I really felt that I was touching the Body of Christ as Jesus said, 'I was sick...,'" she continued.
That young sister was a contemplative. She had been touching Christ for three hours and offering her love to him. To be able to do the same, it is necessary to know the poor....
It would be sad if you didn't know your own poor. Just as love begins at home, so too poverty begins at home. You need to know who is lonely, unloved, and forgotten in your own homes.
Blessed Mother Teresa. "You did it to me." from One Heart Full of Love (Cincinnati, OH: Franciscan Media, 1988).
This excerpt appeared in Magnificat in February 2016.
Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa of Calcutta) was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia, to Albanian heritage. She founded the Missionaries of Charity which in 2015 consisted of 5,161 sisters serving in 758 houses in 139 countries. She described herself in this way: "By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus." Among her books are A Call to Mercy, Jesus is My All in All, Come Be My Light, and Where There Is Love, There Is God.Copyright © 1988 Franciscan Media
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