by Sara Garcia | Young Adult Blogger for Today’s Catholic
The feast day of St. Teresa of Kolkata just passed this week. Many of us were toddlers to elementary aged when she died in 1997. But we all know who she was. She was the living saint on earth that became a real saint last year, September 4th 2016. It is great to know that someone who died only 20 years ago can be a modern example of unconditional love, humility and faith. When we envision our path to sainthood, we compare it to the lives of saints that we know. We sometimes think that the best way to serve God means that we have to live and serve exactly how St. Teresa of Kolkata did. Mother Teresa had told a fellow sister once that she needed to find her own Kolkata and that she did not need to travel to India to serve the poor. What she means is that to serve God, you don’t need to do exactly as she did. Kolkata was Mother Teresa’s mission field and the way that she did not only look but really saw the poor. We need to find our Kolkata and our mission field. It is the way that you serve God by helping those who are in need. It can be working with the homeless, volunteering at the immigration shelter, praying with those who are incarcerated in prison, offering support for those who are in the hospital or being present with youth who are discerning their faith.
Mother Teresa once said, “ Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.” How do we find our own Kolkata? Do we remember to find our own Kolkata? Time seems so overwhelming with to- do lists, bucket lists, career ambitions, health goals and figuring out our call from God. We find our own Kolkata by starting to look. Every day we come across people. Whether it is through responsibilities of the day, Starbucks runs, the homeless we see while parked at a red light, outings with friends or scrolling through social media while watching Netflix at home. We are not meant to be islands even when all we want to do is marathon Stranger Things in our sweats. We are called to love even when it is uncomfortable and even when sometimes it is not convenient. We find our own Kolkata by looking around, taking time to see the need, see what stirs within us and praying that we follow God’s will, not our own. So what is your Kolkata?
Mother Teresa once said, “ Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”
Sara Garcia is an Archdiocesan Director for Pontifical Mission for the Archdiocese of San Antonio and a young adult blogger for Today’s Catholic newspaper.