“Selfless deeds that praise God”
“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
(Matthew 5:16 NLT)
By Fr. Chris Lee OFR
On August 26, 1910 a little girl named Agnes was born in Albania. It is said that she was fascinated by the lives and stories of missionaries. Around the age of 12, she was convinced that she should do something big with her life. That desire never left her. In 1948, she began doing mission work in Calcutta India. Inspired by the life and work of Therese de Lisieux, she changed her name to Theresa and gave her life to do good deeds to the “poorest of the poor”. Today she is known around the world as “Saint Theresa of Calcutta”, or simply as Mother Theresa.
Mother Theresa inspires all of us to remember that Jesus wants us to Glow for God. This doesn’t mean that we have to move to another country, or even change our name. We can Glow for God in our ordinary life, and daily schedule. We can Glow in simple, little ways. Each of us can give some food to someone who is hungry, or drink to the thirsty. We can give an extra coat or blanket to someone who is cold. We can pay a visit to someone who is lonely, sick, or imprisoned. We can pray for those we know and encounter. We can forgive those who seek forgiveness.
When we do little deeds in the love of Jesus, they become great deeds that bring glory and praise to God. Image the simplest gesture of a glass of water filling heaven with praise! In fact, St. James says, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” (1:27 NLT) That’s right, just simply caring for someone in need, is the purest form of our faith. I’m sure most of us want to do big things for God. But remember, it’s the little things that bring Him praise.
On September 5, 1997 Mother Theresa passed away leaving behind over 4,300 brothers and sisters dedicated to her mission. She established approximately 610 missions in 123 countries, and is internationally recognized and awarded for her life’s work. It’s amazing to think that it all began with a 12 year old girl’s desire to do something big for God, through simple, little, deeds.