For almost 50 years Mother Teresa worked in the slums of Calcutta, India. She worked among the most forsaken people on earth. You and I would recoil from most of the people that she touched every day – the dispossessed, the downtrodden, the diseased, the desperate. And yet, everybody who met Mother Teresa remarked on her warm smile. How, after almost 50 years of working in conditions like that did she keep a warm smile on her face?
Mother explains that it is interesting. “When I was leaving home in Yugoslavia at the age of 18 to become a nun, my mother told me something beautiful and very strange”. She said, ‘You go put your hand in Jesus’ hand and walk along with him.'” And that was the secret of Mother Teresa’s life ever after.
Many of us here have good jobs, we live in nice homes, and we have easy situations. But we don’t have the warm smile on our faces that this little nun, working in the most desperate situation imaginable, had on her face. What’s the difference?
It may be that we’ve never put our hand in Jesus’ hand. It may be that we have him only on our lips as St. James remarks in the second reading and as Jesus remarks in today’s Gospel.