Small Things with Great Love

(June 28, 2020)

Bottom line: St. Teresa of Calcutta tells us to do small things with great love. In the Eucharist Jesus does something seeming small with the greatest possible love.

St. Teresa of Calcutta said, "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." Jesus says something similar in the Gospel: "whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because the little one is a disciple amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward."

The Old Testament reading describes a couple who does small things with great love. They provide a room for the prophet Elisha. As Jesus indicates, such acts can bring an unexpected reward. In the case of this couple, they were getting up in years and had no child. The prophet blesses them and they receive their greatest treasure - a child of their own.

Doing small things with love brings a reward. You and I can easily lose focus. We see so many injustices where the strong take advantage of the weak. We want to respond with rage. Rage, however, brings its own injustices. We wind up hurting the people closest to us. So much better to do small things, but to do them with great love.

For example, all of us know a smile can make a big difference. When I'm wearing a face mask, however, I can't use my winning smile. But I've noticed that people can smile with their eyes. That smile can change the other person. Most important, it can change you. Mother Teresa says, "Do small things with great love."

I want to now apply this to the Eucharist. In his pastoral letter for the Year of the Eucharist, Archbishop Etienne writes: "When it comes to the Eucharist, we can always go deeper. No matter whether we have spent years exploring Eucharistic theology, or are still preparing for our first Holy Communion, there is always more to discover about the Eucharist."

Jesus comes to us in a form everyone can understand. He comes to us as food. Not everyone can understand the doctrine of Transubstantiation, but everyone can understand food. We need food for strength and to heal our bodies. Food sustain our lives. Just so, we need Jesus. He comes a humble form. Part of the reason is to teach us humility - that most of our service to him and to others involves little things, things that go unnoticed, unrecognized.

To sum up: St. Teresa of Calcutta tells us to do small things with great love. In the Eucharist Jesus does something seeming small with the greatest possible love. As we hear him say, "Take and eat. This is my body which will be given up for you." Amen.

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Spanish Version

From Archives (Thirteenth Ordinary Sunday, Year A):

2017: Spiritual Warfare Week 2: Jesus First
2008: Welcome Same-Sex Partners?
2002: Padre Pio’s Most Famous Penitent

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Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Kurt Nagel
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