Mother Teresa | 15. God and Christianity
15. God and Christianity
You will be surprised to know that in the poorest neighbourhoods in many of the cities where we live and work, when we get close to the people who live in shacks,
the first thing they ask of is not bread or clothes, even though often they are dying of hunger and are naked. They ask us to teach them the Word of God.
People are hungry for God. They long to hear his word.
If we truly understand the Eucharist; if we make the Eucharist the central focus of our lives; if we feed our lives with the Eucharist, we will not find it difficult to discover Christ, to love him, and to serve him in the poor.
The Eucharist is something more than simply receiving Christ. It supposes that we satisfy his hunger. Christ invites us, "Come to me." Christ hungers for souls.
Nowhere in the gospel has Christ ever uttered an expression of rejection. Rather, we always find an invitation: "Come to me."
Gandhi felt fascinated at knowing Christ. He met Christians, and felt let down.
In Calcutta alone we feed about 10 thousand people every day.
This means that if one day we do not cook, 10 thousand people will not eat.
One day, the Sister in charge came to tell me, "Mother, we have nothing left. We do not have food for so many people." If felt numb. It was the first time that such a thing had happened:
Around 9 a.m. in the morning a truck loaded with bread arrived:
Every day the government gives the poor children a slice of bread and a glass of milk. I do not know why, but the city schools were closed that day. All the bread ended up at Mother Teresa's.
You see, God had closed the schools. He could not allow our people to go hungry.
It was the first time that they were able to eat bread that was very good, and eat it until they were satisfied. The daily bread is another proof of God's tenderness.
A man, a follower of the Hindu religion, came to our Home for the Dying in Kalighat at a time when I was busy curing the wounds of a sick person.
He watched me for a while in silence. Then he said, "Since it gives you the strength to do what you do, I have no doubt that your religion has to be true."
We all have the duty to serve God where we are called to do so. I feel called to serve individuals, each human being. My calling is not to judge the institutions. I am not qualified to condemn anyone. I never think in terms of a crowd, but of individual persons.
If I thought in terms of crowds, I would never begin my work. I believe in the personal touch of one to one.
If others are convinced that God wants them to change social structures, that is a matter for them to take up with God.
In order to be Christians, we should resemble Christ, of this I am firmly convinced.
Gandhi once said that if Christians lived according to their faith, there would be no more Hindus left in India.
People expect us to be consistent with our Christian life.
Christ changed himself into bread of life. Changing himself into bread, he become totally at our disposal so that, having been fed by him, we would feel the strength necessary to give ourselves to others.
God is a Father who forgives. His mercy is greater than our sin. He will forgive our sin - but let us try not to commit the sin again.
Often we Christians constitute the worst obstacle for those who try to become closer to Christ; we often preach a gospel we do not live. This is the principle reason why people of the world don't believe.
The church is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow.
The apostles, too, experienced fear and mistrust, depression and failures:
In spite of all this, Christ did not rebuke them. He simply told them, "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?"(Luke 24:38).
Jesus' kind words are also appropriate for our fears today.
An important public official of my country once asked me, "Mother Teresa, you say you pray for me. Tell me the truth: don't you want me to become a Christian?"