Missionary of Mother Teresa: Christmas, joy of the presence of God in the faces of the disabled
by Nirmala Carvalho

Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Brother Yesudas lives in a centre that houses 60 people with mental disorders. Here there is always laughter. Patients “don’t have an attitude of accumulating but they live their life as a presence of Joy.”

Calcutta (AsiaNews) – Christmas, the time when Jesus Christ was born, sees "joy of the presence of God in the faces of the disabled", this according to Brother Yesudas, a missionary of Charity, the order founded by Mother Teresa of Kolkata (Calcutta).

The missionary, who lives in Karuna Bhavan (sanctuary of peace) in Kolkata along with 60 people suffering from mental disorders, released a Christmas letter today, International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

In it, the missionary, who works with four other confreres, writes "I am discovering more and more” God’s presence. “By welcoming the poor, the weak and the wounded, we are revealing a new presence of Jesus: this is the true Christmas."

As the holy day approaches, many "move in the market," driven by a desire to acquired “brand clothes, shoes, gifts and cakes.” However, “The purpose of life is not accumulating things but living joyfully with laughter.”

Smiles are aplenty in the centre where he works. “We experience the joy and laughter of these people amid our desire to be with them. Our life here is an encounter between our weakness and the strength of God's grace that allows us to live daily a full and joyful life in which our service to these poorest means doing small things for them with joy and laughter for the glory of God”.

“In it we discover the strong and the weak living together, and a compassionate love is born.  Mutual help goes through weakened bodies. Our coming together leads us to become someone uniquely valuable. Because when we come together to help others who are weak, we come to a meeting point. It is a meeting between God’s pain and that of the poor.”

Still, Br Yesudas marvels at the joy the patients show. Among the disabled, some jump and sing, others sing hymns in the early morning, whilst some more laugh endlessly and make others laugh. “They don’t have an attitude of accumulating but they live their life as a presence of Joy.”

Even Jesus came into the world with nothing. "Jesus came as a small child in Bethlehem. He grew up in a small place called Nazareth. He did all his miracles in the small towns in Galilee. He came to show us that small things are beautiful before God and the joy of our life in God comes from small things. So, doing small things together for others who are in need is Christmas and makes us saints of the modern world.”