Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 4, 2016 – Year C
Readings: Wis 9:13-18B / Ps 90 / Phmn 9-10, 12-17 / Lk 14:25-33
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
A few hours ago Mother Teresa was canonized by Pope Francis at the Vatican, and she is now officially Saint Mother Teresa. It is interesting to note that even a saint like Mother Teresa has her critics. This should give us encouragement if, while trying to do something good for God and our neighbor, we are also criticized for our actions. If Saint Mother Teresa was the object of such criticism, then we can say we are in good company.
However, since the beginning of time, nobody has created a statue of a critic, and that means they are not held in high esteem. But there are millions of statues and images for those like Saint Mother Teresa, made for those who have done something beautiful for God and their neighbor.
There are a lot of inspirational and heartwarming stories about Saint Mother Teresa, and one of my favorites is the anecdote that she told about suffering. She said: “One day I met a lady who was dying of cancer, and I could see how she was struggling with terrible pain. I said to her, ‘This is but the kiss of Jesus, a sign that you have come so close to Him on the cross that He can kiss you.’ And the suffering woman joined her hands together and said, ‘Mother Teresa, please tell Jesus to stop kissing me.’”
Saint Mother Teresa explained her story by saying, “This is the joy of suffering: the kiss of Jesus. Do not be afraid to share in that joy of suffering with Him, because He will never give us more suffering than we are able to bear.”
But even Saint Mother Teresa herself seemed to have struggled with being overwhelmed at times, for she also said, “I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle, but I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.”
It is an honor to be trusted. Let us ask the intercession of Saint Mother Teresa as we celebrate this holy sacrifice of the Mass: that we may always see with the eyes of our faith the honor that God gives to each and every one of us, and that we may always be aware that we are a lot stronger and more powerful than all the trials that may come our way.