I remember reading about a time when Mother Teresa, now Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, was asked a peculiar question from a writer. The writer asked her how, among all of these people (the poor who were gathered around her at that time), can she take it slow, dealing with one person at a time, seemingly ignoring the others. Her answer was quite simple, yet extraordinary:
She said as she looked into the eyes of each person, she looked into the eyes of Jesus.
In February of 1994, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta wrote a letter to the U.S. Supreme Court where she stated:
“Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. I have no new teaching for America. I seek only to recall you to faithfulness to what you once taught the world…. Your nation was founded on the proposition very old as a moral precept, but startling and innovative as a political insight that human life is a gift of immeasurable worth, and that it deserves, always and everywhere, to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.”
How do you treat others on a daily basis at home, at work, in the stores, or on the streets? Do you look away and stay silent? Do you give a passing glance or nod of the head?What about a quick fleeting smile or perhaps a mumbled “Hi” without breaking your stride? When was the last time you looked at them eye to eye as equals; as a brother or sister in Christ?
Where is the help? It cannot start with the government, or with the various charitable organizations. Where does it, or rather, where should it begin? The answer is us. It must start with us; it must come from within us.
As Christians, just as Jesus commissioned Peter, each of us need to take the lead to take care of his flock, remembering what he taught us through faith, hope, and charity.
Featured image: Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net