05/27/2015, 00.00
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The Missionaries of Charity see the poor as benefactors, thanks to them they can serve Jesus

Present in Hong Kong since 1983, the Sisters of Mother Teresa operate two centres where they provide food and shelter to those in need. “The more we give to our poor, the more we receive in abundance,” and “the poorest of the poor often challenge us to live our vocation”.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – The Sisters of Mother Teresa came to Hong Kong in 1983. At present, they have two religious communities with 14 missionaries who run two centres on Kowloon Peninsula, an area with rundown sections and many homeless people. The nuns’ main work is to provide hot meals to the poor (a few hundred) and shelter to the homeless (a few dozen).

Mother Teresa visited Hong Kong on several occasions. The University of Hong Kong awarded her with an honorary degree. In the 1980s and 1990s, talks were held about opening new homes in mainland China, but Beijing eventually refused the necessary permits and the plan fell through.

What follows is a message from the Missionaries of Charity published in the Sunday Examiner, Hong Kong’s Catholic weekly.

We are privileged to be part of the vibrant Church in Hong Kong and to be able to-serve the poorest of the poor here through simple and humble works of love.

In our temporary shelters for the homeless, we try to bring the light of Christ to hapless men and women, to dispel the darkness in their lives and to give them Divine Hope. The experience of the joy of prodigal sons and daughters returning to the tender and merciful embrace of our Heavenly Father gives us strength and encouragement to continue our service of patience, understanding and love for the poor. Over the years, we have witnessed with joy the love of God touching their hearts.

One day a man with a criminal record sought temporary shelter in our home. Overwhelmed by God's love for him, he was determined to change his life. After a time, he was baptised, got married and had a little girl. Now he regularly attends our weekly Eucharistic Adoration.

Some receive the gift of faith and experience the joy of God's presence in their lives. Others realise their errors, reconcile with their families and set their marriages in order.

We customarily go around at night to bless our home with holy water-the whole building and our inmates. Each night we see their joy and eagerness to feel God's love for them and to receive the blessings. They really enjoy the holy water falling on them as God's tender touch! This is true of all of them: children, adults or elderly-with the simplicity of a child of God, await the touch and blessings of God!

God is never outdone in generosity. The more we give to our poor, the more we receive in abundance. "We have been created for greater things: to love and to be loved", says our Mother, Blessed Teresa of Kolkata.

The people in Hong Kong have big and generous hearts to share with the less privileged.

In our soup kitchen for the homeless and others, the poorest of the poor often challenge us to live our vocation of love and spiritual motherhood to the full. We often hear them say: "We have no one, you are our mother." Sometimes when we are impatient or irritated with their behaviour, they remind us: "You are a sister; you should be kind and loving".

The poorest of the poor are indeed extremely great too, for they teach us many lessons. They are our greatest benefactors because they give us many opportunities to serve Jesus in his distressing guise and we owe our existence as Missionaries of Charity to them.

Visiting the families of the poor in Hong Kong is quite difficult as many are reluctant to open their door to us. The Rosary is a powerful weapon that opens the doors of families and their hearts to receive God's healing love. Our Lady touches the hearts of the broken-hearted and brings reconciliation, peace and joy to many broken families.

The poorest of the poor are God's most precious children and much loved by Mother Mary. Our Lady said to Blessed Teresa: "Take care of them – they are mine bring them to Jesus, carry Jesus to them. Fear not. Teach them to say the Rosary – the Family Rosary – and all will be well. Fear not. Jesus and I will be with you and your children."

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