THEME: A CALL TO SAINTHOOD IN CHRIST
EVENT: WORLD DAY OF THE POOR
In his latest Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and be Glad), Pope Francis states all of us are called to become saints. He writes: “The Lord… wants us to be saints and not settle for a bland and mediocre existence (GE, 1).” The Pope also says: “Those who really wish to give glory to God by their lives, who truly long to grow in holiness are called to be single-minded and tenacious in their practise of the works of mercy” (GE, 107).
Invite a member of the BEC to say the opening prayer.
Happy the man who knows how to live, Happy the man who never seeks reward, Giving because he loves to give. He seeks no gold, He wants no gain, He knows those things are all in vain. He needs no praise nor honour too, His only motto, “to your own self be true.”
Happy the man who learned how to pray, Happy the man who has a burning goal, Happy the man whose service needs no pay. This man has found his own soul, Happy the man, Happy the man of the Lord.
*Or select another appropriate hymn.
One day, when Mother Teresa was on her way to Badami Hospital in Calcutta, she came across old woman lying on the road. She looked closely and noticed that the woman’s legs, which were wrapped with rags, were covered with ants. Her head seemed to have been bitten by a rat and her bloody wounds were infested with flies and worms. Mother Teresa knew that if left there, the woman would die soon. Therefore she took the woman to a nearby hospital. In the beginning the hospital staff would not attend to the old woman. However, after Mother Teresa repeated pleadings, a doctor treated the woman’s wounds. Later he told Mother Teresa: “Temporary hospitalisation is required but you will have to find her a place to rest after the emergency period.”
From there, Mother Teresa immediately went to the City Hall health care centre, hoping to find a place for recuperating patients who were poor. The chief of the centre was a compassionate man who listened to Mother Teresa’s request. Then, he took her to a famous Kali monastery in the city where a place would be provided for her use. Initially, there was strong opposition from certain people on the grounds that Mother Teresa was not an Indian. Mother Teresa, however, was not deterred and continued to bring many dying patients from the street to the shelter. There, she would clean them, attend to their wounds and give them a place to rest, and to die with
dignity. This action touched many people and the opposition towards her gradually subsided. Later, other women joined Mother Teresa in her work of mercy to take care of the poorest and most suffering people. An elderly person, who passed away soon after moving into the shelter, whispered to Mother Teresa: “I lived like a dog, and now I die like a human being. Thank you. ”
Buzz with the person next to you. Buzz a second time with another person.
a) What do you think are some of the factors that prevent us from reaching out in mercy to those in need?
b) What lesson(s) can we learn from Mother Teresa for our own lives?
Biblical Text: Luke 10: 30, 33-35
1. Read the text two or three times
2. Be in silence with the text – read silently by your own
3. What words or phrase caught your attention? Write it down
4. (Choose only one from #3): What is the Holy Spirit saying to you? Write it down
5. Share in small groups (3-4 persons) on #3 and #4
Who do you think are the people in your neighbourhood whom you need to reach out to in mercy? Why?
What are some of the simple but effective ways in which you can reach out to them as an individual and BEC?
Invite members of the BEC to pray spontaneously
As Long As You Have Done It
Chorus: As long as you have done it
To the least of these my brethren
You have given it unto me
1. We give thanks for all we have, for benefits received
Remind us Lord, of those in want
Whose needs are unrelieved
2. The lonely and the suff’ing poor
We see in every land
The hungry and the homeless ones
Need comfort from our hand
3. Your message Lord is plain to see
Your work for us is clear
By charity to do your will
And build your kingdom here.
*Sing or recite the hymn meditatively or choose another appropriate hymn.
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