09/05/2014, 00.00
INDIA
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For Card Gracias, Mother Teresa represents hope for peace in Iraq, Ukraine and the world

by Card. Oswald Gracias
On the day marking the liturgical memory of the Blessed of Kolkata, AsiaNews publishes a reflection by the archbishop of Mumbai. "Through Jesus," the foundress of the Missionaries of Charity, "revealed His tenderness and personal love for the poorest of the poor."

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Today is the liturgical memory of the Blessed Mother Teresa, foundress of the Missionaries of Charity. Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, sent AsiaNews a reflection on the nun of Kolkata who was a close friend and confidant, an example for the world today.

Mother Teresa's example provides hope for peace in our world. Mother Teresa said that she had "met Christ in the distressing disguise of the poor." She represents hope for peace in the world at a time of great pain by Christians in Iraq as well as the suffering in Ukraine and in other places of the world.

Mother Teresa's charism was to quench the thirst of souls for Jesus by serving the poorest of the poor. Mother Teresa's wish was to belong to the heart of Jesus.

She used to say, " By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus."

The heart of Jesus yearns for the poorest of the poor, the weak and defenceless, the suffering and the undesired, for those who are of little or no account. To Him, they are "precious."

From His deep desire towards them, He called Mother Teresa "for them", so that through her humble work of love, she could relieve their discomfort and take care of their immediate needs and be a means to reveal His tenderness and His personal love for them.

The Missionaries of Charity appease the endless thirst for God. They are a great joy for the Church in India. They also represent the contribution of our country to international efforts for peace thanks to the overwhelming presence of Indian religious from a congregation that has more than 5,000 missionaries.

They serve in 139 countries around the world in difficult, precarious and challenging situations, relieving in a disinterested way the physical suffering of the poorest of the poor, but also healing the wounds of abandonment, misery and despair, as well as the wounds of the spirit.

Pope Francis has the same spirit as Mother Teresa. From the beginning of his pontificate, he spoke of the edges of existence.

In a meeting with reporters a few days after his election, he established his agenda in the clearest possible terms, "How much I would like to have a poor Church for the poor."

In his homily at Lampedusa, he lamented what he called "anaesthesia of the heart". We are a society that has forgotten how to weep, how to experience the compassion of "suffering with" others. The globalisation of indifference has taken away our ability to weep.

Mother Teresa's example provides hope for peace in our world. Mother Teresa said that she had "met Christ in the distressing disguise of the poor."

She represents hope for peace in the world at a time of great pain by Christians in Iraq as well as the suffering in Ukraine and in other places of the world.

The wish to be able to respond to Jesus as did Mother Teresa and Pope Francis.

(Nirmala Carvalho contributed to this article)

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