ADORERS ARE INVITED TO CONSIDER A CAPTAIN’S ROLE
The Captain’s role available at present are 8pm to 10pm and 3pm to 4pm
by Fr Doug Harris 2021
Sunday 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) - 19th September, 2021
“If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.”
St Paul says of Our Lord (Phil 2:6): “Although He was God, He emptied Himself to assume the condition of a slave… He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name, which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
Jesus is the ideal. Jesus once called Himself “slave” (dulos in Greek). That is why Jesus allowed the Jews and Romans to crucify Him. He offered no resistance. He helped them crucify Him. He did this because He loved them so much. He chose to suffer and die for the very ones who crucified Him so that they would be saved.
“If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.” Jesus, King of Kings, became a slave so that we would inherit His Kingship and Kingdom. Jesus who is divine, subjected Himself to crucifixion so that we, who are human, would share in His divinity.
One person who imitated Christ was St Teresa of Calcutta. Her ministry began with the poorest in India. These poor people were considered by their fellow countrymen of the Hindu faith to be untouchable – the least of the least.
St Teresa was born on 26th August 1910 in Macedonia to Albanian parents. She left home in September 1928 for the Loreto Convent in Dublin, Ireland. She was sent by the Loreto Order to India and arrived in Calcutta on 6th January 1929. She taught in St Mary’s Bengali Medium School. On October 7th, 1950, the new congregation of the Missionaries of Charity was officially established. The first foundation outside India opened in Venezuela in 1965. The Missionaries of Charity reached Communist countries in 1979 including 15 foundations in the former Soviet Union. In 1985 St Teresa opened in New York, her first house for AIDS patients. By 1997 the Sisters numbered nearly 4000 members and were established in almost 600 foundations in 123 countries of the world.
On September 5th1997, she died.
St Teresa was a woman of faith. In the early days when she only had two sisters and she was unknown she felt that God had asked her to go to Rome. So, she and her two companions went to the airport to buy three return tickets to Rome. When they told the receptionist that they had no money they were promptly told to leave the airport. On walking out of the airport, a young man recognized St Teresa because she had taught him when he was only a boy. He was now a manager of an aeroplane company. When he heard St Teresa’s problem, he gave her three return tickets to Rome.
Another story occurred in Lebanon. In the early 1990’s St Teresa had been sent there by the Vatican to help those traumatised during the Syrian occupation of Lebanon.
One of the tasks of St Teresa was to rescue children who had been abandoned in a hospital in Beirut. The fighting at that stage had been continuous.
The peace keeping army would not allow her to enter Beirut because it was considered far too dangerous. She asked the commander: “What would it take for you to give my Sisters and I a number of ambulances to bring the children back here?” He replied, in sarcasm, “The Syrian army would need to declare a cease-fire, but they never have before, and they never will.” St Teresa simply said, “In that case my Sisters and I will pray for a cease-fire.” Three days later the Syrian army declared a cease-fire.
I was giving talks on vocations with St Teresa’s nuns (Missionaries of Charity) at Chisholm College, Bedford. I had to make a right hand turn from Beaufort Rd into a road beside the school. The traffic coming the other way, two lanes, was busy because of road works nearby. No possibility of getting through. I closed my eyes and said, “Mother Teresa.” On opening my eyes all the cars were driving into a street before the school leaving it completely clear for myself and all the cars behind me to turn right. She is powerful in heaven.
St Teresa not only ministered to the poorest of the poor she became one of them. For example, she donned their clothes. She designed her habit to be one of them. She fulfilled Our Lord’s words: “Anyone who wants to be first must make himself last of all and servant of all.” By becoming the servant of all, even the servant of the poorest of the poor she was regarded as the first of all. For example, she was given the Noble Prize for Peace. When she died, she was given a state funeral. Her funeral was as if she was the President of India – the same accolades as given to Mahatma Ghandi for example, also kings, queens, and presidents from all over the world attended her funeral. And of course, she is among the Blessed in heaven, the greatest honour of all.
“If you want to be first then you must make yourself last of all and servant of all.”
St Teresa also experienced the “Dark Night of the Soul” where she felt no presence of God whatsoever. She said she felt “nothing but emptiness and darkness.” This state lasted almost 50 years. For 50 years she felt “nothing but emptiness and darkness.” For example, although she knew that God loved her, she was frequently tempted to think that He didn’t. She was able to carry this cross by offering it up. In this way she was resigned to God’s Will. She would often say to others that she had accepted whatever God had chosen to do in her life. When speaking about her ‘dark night”, she asked a friend to pray for her that she may always let God “have a free hand.” Do I love others enough that I would be willing to suffer or carry my Cross for them and even ask that my Cross be heavier? How much do I love others? How much am I prepared to die so that others may live? “If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all”