The Eucharist and the poor

Today is the feast of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, declared blessed in 2003. Foundress of the Missionaries of Charity who work with the poorest and most maligned, especially the dying, she died on September 5, 1997. For her the poor were another manifestation of the presence of Christ. As with many other contemplatives she saw the connection between the poor she served and Christ int he Eucharist whom she worshiped.

   To make sure that we understand what he says, Jesus is going to judge us on love. He is going to judge us on our response to this very beautiful call, “I was hungry and you gave me to eat. Come, the blessed of my Father!” Or, “I was hungry and you did not give me to eat. Go, I do not know you.”

You and I will have to face that one day. But it is not necessary for us to be afraid of Jesus. Let this be our response today:

If we really understand the Eucharist, if we really center our lives on Jesus’ body and blood, if we nourish our lives with the bread of the Eucharist, it will be easy for us to see Christ in that hungry one next door, the one lying in the gutter, that alcoholic man we shun, our husband or our wife, or our restless child. For in them, we will recognize the distressing disguises of the poor: Jesus in our midst.


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