- the strong lest they should become weak, and the weak, that they should become strong;
- the sick, that they may be restored to health, and the healthy, lest they should fall into sickness.
To have confidence in God, Francis de Sales says: Give into the hands of God’s most loving providence whatever you may find painful to you, and firmly believe that He will sweetly conduct you, your life and all your affairs: “When we see some persecutions or contradictions threatening us with some great trouble, we must retire, we and our affections under the Holy Cross, with a true belief that all will end to the advantage of those who love God.”
One day an ordinary woman inserted herself among people who experienced a constant cycle of poverty and cruelty. She saw the tragic plight of those far less fortunate than herself and decided that she needed – personally and intimately – to do something about it. So, she took all the wealth that she possessed and rented an old building with a dirt floor. The building wasn’t much to look, at but it would provide a start for the work that she felt drawn to inaugurate. Soon, the woman traveled around the neighborhood and offered to teach the children. She used the building as her classroom. She had no books, no desks, no chairs and no tables. Her chalkboard was the dirt floor. She rubbed it smooth with an old rag cloth and wrote on it with a stick. That was the way the woman fought back against the poverty and cruelty around her. To the casual observer it may have appeared to be a pathetically miniscule response to such immense human suffering, but she placed her confidence in God.
Whatever happened to the woman and her undertaking? Today there are some eighty fully-equipped schools, three hundred dispensaries, seventy leprosy clinics, thirty homes for the dying, thirty homes for abandoned children and forty thousand volunteers worldwide, continuing the work that this singular woman began.
This not-so-ordinary (as it turned out) woman was the soon-to-be canonized Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
There is no better story to illustrate the point of the two readings from today’s liturgy. The boy gave what little he had to Jesus and Jesus did the rest. Let us place the little that we have in the hands of Jesus with utter confidence. He will accept us, bless us and make our lives grow beyond even our greatest expectations. Thus we experience – first hand – the significance with which our God can transform our insignificance into something powerful for the good of others.