Today, the restless love of Saint Teresa of Calcutta was rewarded with the restless love of Jesus, the unsleeping rest of heaven.
Many times in Luke’s account of the Gospel, we hear of a master and a servant. In two of the parables, we see a servant, having completed his task well. But the master responds in two very different ways:
- “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them.” (Luke 12:37)
- “Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep, say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and gird yourself and serve me, till I eat and drink; and afterward you shall eat and drink’?” (Luke 17:7–8)
Many times in our lives, we receive Christ’s visitation. Woe to those whom he finds in idleness, indulgence, and vice! But to those he finds faithful, he responds in one of these two ways. On the last day, he will cause the worthy to sit, and he will feed them from his own table. Even now, many times, he gives us rest, refreshment to our souls, glimpses of the joy to come.
Yet to all, and to some especially, while we labor on this earth, he makes an invitation to come up higher, to share now the food that was his on earth: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me” (John 4:34). “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Such was his word to Mother Teresa in her weariness and toil. Again and again he deferred her dinnertime, till he was fed—that is, till the poor were fed, clothed, visited, and told the good news.
Not totally unlike a retirement fund, the greatness of our rest in heaven follows the greatness of that heart-poured-out love that we attain on earth. Not all are called to the same heights, but you and I and every one of us are called to much greater heights than those we have yet reached. We are all called to be a bit more like Mother Teresa, that servant so long kept on her feet, restlessly feeding the hungry Christ. Blessed be this hungry servant, who has entered into her master’s joy!
Image: U.S. Mint, Congressional Gold Medal