Mother Teresa is Not a Saint…At least according to the Catholic church.
She has taken a vow of poverty because her heart is so full. So full of conviction that it doesn’t have room for the mundane and other things that tend to drive most of us.
I know… maybe your reaction was like mine, shocked. When I saw that on the morning news it caught my attention. After all, she must be one of the most notable examples of love and sacrifice. Pouring her life out in service sacrificially to give to others.
I mean if Mother Teresa doesn’t qualify what could that mean for a regular person like me?
Not A Slam
This is not to slam the catholic church because some of my friends are Catholic and are the most genuine, loving God fearing people. I just found it interesting that until they had record of two notable miracles, she wasn’t qualified.
I’m certain her driving force is not the Catholic Church crowning her with a saint title, it is the love she has for hurting, forgotten people.
What Does it Take to be Saint?
The reality is, people in and out of the church, have their “requirements” of what qualifies you or disqualifies you.
You know this could not be further from reality in the mind of God.
In fact, the word saint or saints is used 67 times in the New Testament. The word saint means to be set apart or to be holy.
It isn’t for a special group of Christians who have performed well and now they are deemed with titles or a higher rung on the spiritual ladder. A saint is a regular Joe who loves God and is motivated by that love to do something, serve someone and contribute something to someone else.
What about you?
Do you see yourself as a saint?
We tend to classify people with this term if they measure up. So what is the measuring stick?
Comparing yourself to others? Or is it good works? Is it trying to balance out your good deeds with your bad deeds? This is a fruitless attempt. What if you were suddenly bankrupt, you know everything was stripped emotionally, financially and spiritually. The only thing remaining was your heart and a sober estimation of your life and how you got to that point.
Your position of poverty – financially, mentally and emotionally – wasn’t necessarily a choice you made, but through a series of events you ended up there. After some time and pain you surrendered to a higher purpose. The decision to invest in something that was lasting, something that mattered, that was bigger than all the things you have been building and investing in. Something that touched another life.
This friends is Sainthood.
What Would Happen if We Believed?
What if we believed that we are just that, a saint?
Nothing superior, really. Us just slipping on the clothes and crown that has already been given to us through Jesus and going out to share love and compassion. Quietly, unannounced, but with sincerity and a genuine love that moves out to help heal a broken world. Just by doing whatever that thing is that you do.
I kinda think this is the sainthood Jesus is looking for, and the world desperately needs.
I certainly need it and my friends do too. Just Jesus with skin on.
Nothing that reflects the residue of a superstar just a regular guy or girl that stops long enough to notice someone’s pain, or listens to the elderly man’s story of his younger years.
Mother Teresa is a Lesson for Us
What is it about a Mother Teresa that moves us?
Is it the well of love she holds for God so it reflects in her humanity?
Is it the mercy she extends to the one who deserves judgement?
Is it the embrace of a mother that seeks out the leper?
I would say that everything we see in her is Jesus with skin on. We yearn for that in a world that is inundated with such activity and busyness. A world that is so connected through personal media, yet disconnected personally.
Mother Teresa would be someone that checks out of the world long enough to check in with you. She left the world to go into the world and see those who couldn’t be seen.
I think we have all desired to be invisible at times. I certainly have, but what if your life experience or situation caused you to be isolated? What if your entire life you had felt alone, cast away and just invisible?
What if one day Jesus showed up with skin on? Maybe He showed up as your next door neighbor, or maybe it was your co-worker or a stranger.
Didn’t something heal in you? Did your heart expand again and your confidence in humanity and the love of God begin to open more?
God is light and love, and in Him there is no darkness. Let’s walk into the light so we can see, so we don’t bump into each other and if we do, then at least we can see well enough to say, “I’m sorry I bumped you and hurt you.” That’s what light does, it enables you to see and warms your heart enough to be humble and not hidden in the dark.
Who has shown up in your life as Jesus with skin on?