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How do we love God whom we cannot see?

     St John said, "if we say we love God, but hate others, we are liars. For we cannot love God, whom we have not seen, if we do not love others, whom we have seen."(1 John 4:20 TEV)

     Mother Teresa tells us how we can love God whom we have not seen:

     “Where is God? We believe He is everywhere---He is the creator, He is everything. But where is He to my human eyes? To make it possible for me to see the face of God with my human eyes, He has made Himself the hungry one, the naked one, the homeless one, the lonely one and He says: ‘Whatsoever you do to the least of My brethren you do it to Me.’ Gandhiji has said: ‘He who serves the poor serves God.’” ("The Joy in Loving," 7 September)

     “Once more, today and yesterday, Jesus comes to His own and His own refuse to welcome Him (John 1:11).

     He comes in the broken bodies of the poor.

     He also comes in the rich who are drowning in the loneliness of their own riches. He also comes in their lonely hearts, when there is no one to offer them love.” (“In My Own Words,” 37)

     “Because we cannot see Christ we cannot express our love to Him; but our neighbors we can always see, and we can each do for them what if we saw Him, we would like to do for Christ.” (A Gift for God, 36)

     “Today, the same Christ is in people who are unwanted, unemployed, uncared for, hungry, naked, and homeless. They seem useless to the states and to society; nobody has time for them. It is you and I as Christians, worthy of the love of Christ if our love is true, who must find them, and help them; they are there for the finding. (A Gift for God, 36)

     “Christ made Himself the Bread of Life. He wanted to give Himself to us in a very special way---in a simple, tangible way---because it is hard for human beings to love God whom they cannot see. He made Himself the Bread of Life to satisfy our love for God, our hunger for God. We have been created for greater things. We have been created in God’s image and likeness. We have been created to love and to be loved.

     Jesus put a condition on His self-giving: ‘If you do not eat My flesh and drink My blood, you will have no life in you. You will be unable to love or to give.’ The condition is very simple and clear, even a child is able to eat bread. Bread is the simplest food for people everywhere, and it is usually the cheapest. Well, then, Christ became the Bread of Life.

     But it seems that this act of self-giving wasn’t enough for Him. He wanted to give something more. He wanted to pass on to us the opportunity to give of ourselves to Him, so we could turn our love for Him into living deeds after eating the Bread of Life. To accomplish that, He became the hungry one, the naked one, stripped of all earthly goods and comforts. Christ says: ‘For I was hungry and you gave Me to eat. I was homeless and you offered Me shelter. I was illiterate and you taught Me to read. I was alone and you kept Me company. You gave Me your understanding and your love.’

      Christ made this kind of total self-giving a condition for life. He will judge us at the hour of our death. We will be judged by what we have done, by what we have been, to the poor. He says to us: “I was hungry and you did not feed Me. I hungered for bread, for justice, and for human dignity; yet you passed Me by! I was naked and stripped of every necessity, denied justice and even the simple recognition that I am just like you, created by the same loving God to love and to be loved. But I was left for dead, alone and dejected. I was thrown out into the streets, unwanted, unloved, and ignored.

     The lepers, the blind, the invalid, and the handicapped are asking if you notice them, if you recognise them in your midst. This is the reason why I am speaking to you. You need to become aware of these people and their needs. Do you know them?” (One Heart Full of Love, 2-3)

     “Who are the poorest of the poor? They are the unwanted, the unloved, the ignored, the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the leper, and the alcoholic in our midst.

     To live out such a calling every Missionary of Charity must have a life focused on the Eucharist. We see Christ in the Eucharist under the appearance of bread, while we see Him in the poor under the distressing disguise of poverty. The Eucharist and the poor are nothing more than the same love of God. To be able to see and love Jesus in the poor, we must be one with Christ through a life of deep prayer. That is why the sisters start their day with Mass and meditation. And they finish it with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Communion with Christ gives us our strength, our joy, and our love.” (“One Heart Full of Love,”26-27)

     “We should not serve the poor like they were Jesus. We should serve the poor because they are Jesus.” (“In My Own Words,” 30)  

     Henri Nouwen writes: “Where is Jesus today? Jesus is where those who believe in Him and express that belief in baptism and the Eucharist become one body. As long as we think about the body of believers as a group of people who share a common faith in Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus remains an inspirational historical figure. But when we realize that the body of Jesus fashions in the Eucharist is His body, we can start to see what real presence is. Jesus, who is present in the gifts of His Body and Blood, becomes present in the body of believers that is formed by these gifts. We who receive the Body of Christ become the living Christ.” (“Bread for the Journey,” Oct 14)

     “Jesus is the Word of God, who came from heaven, was born of the Virgin Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit, and became a human being. This happened in a specific place at a specific time. But each day when we celebrate the Eucharist, Jesus comes down from heaven, takes bread and wine, and by the power of the Holy Spirit becomes our food and drink. Indeed, through the Eucharist, God’s incarnation continues to happen at any time and at any place.

     Sometimes we might think, ‘I wish I had been there with Jesus and His apostles long ago!’ But Jesus is closer to us now than He was to His friends. Today He is our daily bread!” (“Bread for the Journey,” Oct 4)

 

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